Castilla-La Mancha, with an area of more than 30,000 square miles, is one of the Spain’s most extensive Autonomous Communities. It boasts almost 2,000 square miles of vines, which translates into the largest wine region in the world, producing more than half of all the wine in Spain. (Rioja Alavesa: another important Spanish wine region)
The Protected Apellations of Origin of Castilla-La Mancha include Manchuela, Ribera del Júcar, Vinos de la Tierra, Almansa, Jumilla, Valdepeñas, Méntrida, La Mancha, and Uclés and Mondejar. These fertile lands stand out for their red varieties, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, grenache, monastrell, petit verdot and bobal grapes.
Castilla-La Mancha has been the backdrop of countless works of art, particularly one of the world’s most relevant literary masterpieces: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de La Mancha, where Miguel de Cervantes narrates the adventures and misfortunes of Don Quixote and his gluttonous vassal Sancho Panza, who, in one of the chapters of the novel says about the wines of the area: “If the wine is good, all is well”.
Here, a list of five brilliant, suggestive and extraordinary wines from Castilla-La Mancha, which can be found in fine wines shops around the world:
Castillo de Almansa Selection 2008
WINERY: Bodegas Piqueras // ZONE: D.O. Almansa // GRAPES: monastrell, tempranillo, syrah, garnacha tintorera
Wine of high concentration and intense ruby red color, with hints of black pepper and toasty aromas of ripe fruit. Complex on the palate, it has firm tannins and a fleshy, lingering taste. Ready to be consumed at the present time but likely to improve in the bottle until 2016. Castillo de Almansa Selection 2008 was awarded a well-deserved Gold Medal at the Concours Mondial de Vins de Bruxelles, in 2013.
WINERY: Pagos Marqués de Griñón Estates // ZONE: D.O. Dominio de Valdepusa // GRAPES: syrah, petit verdot
Caliza 2007 is one of the great wines produced in Dominio de Valdepusa. Deep purple with bright flashes of cherry, it displays complex and intense fruity aromas, with hints of ripe blackberries, cherries and mint. In the mouth, it becomes a wine of broad intense character, silky but with great structure. It stands out for its full body and persistent and balanced finish.
Cantos del Diablo
WINERY: Bodegas Jiménez Landi // ZONE: D.O. Méntrida // GRAPES: 100% garnacha
Of an intense dark cherry red color, this is a wine of great aromatic complexity where mineral sensations go hand in hand with ripe fruit and licorice, spices, cocoa and a slight herbaceous hint. In the mouth, the first impression is tasty and powerful, returning the fruit flavor with breeding notes. It floods the palate with a slow and lingering taste, a unique wine with a personality of its own.
WINERY: Alto Landon // ZONE: D.O. Manchuela // GRAPES: bobal, malbec, monastrell
This wine is made with strains of bobal grape that are over 80 years old. It has a bright and intense cherry red color. Close to the nose, it feels elegant, with medium intensity and some complexity of fresh red fruit aromas and hints of forest plants. In the mouth, it is fresh, joyful and with a suitable final taste. It is renowned for its balance and excellent acidity that gives it much freshness.
El Vínculo Reserva 2004
WINERY: El Vínculo // ZONE: D.O. La Mancha // GRAPES: 100% tempranillo
This excellent wine also has an intense cherry red color. Close to the nose, one discovers very intense and enjoyable aromas of vanilla and a touch of mint. Its taste features a combination of ripe fruit and the essence of the wood of the barrel, which make it a silky, broad and persistent wine with excellent acidity and a long, round finish. ■