D.O. Valencia (Valencia)
Virtue lies in the middle ground. And they know that well at the Casa los Frailes winery in the Vals dels Alforins (in the D.O. Valencia), where they have managed to find the perfect balance in Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha, a red wine where both varieties, which are very different, are perfectly combined.
As for the Monastrell, they are not lacking any experience in this winery where it has traditionally been the most used variety. Since its foundation in 1771, when an ancestor of the Vázquez family bought the estate at public auction after it was removed from the Jesuits by Charles III, the Velázquez family has worked it with great skill. Now, it is the turn of María José and Miguel Velázquez, the 13th generation who are currently running this company that owns 130 hectares of vineyards with an average age of 25 years (70% of them planted with Monastrell in several plots at 650 metres above sea level). The Grenache comes directly from the La Casa de aperos plot. In this case, the biggest difference between the two comes directly from the soil: while the Monastrell grows in deep, sandy loam soils of alluvial origin, the Grenache comes directly from calcareous rubified soils, sensitive to erosion and very rich in iron. Both vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic since 2019, making this one of the pioneering Spanish wineries to use this type of cultivation.
After the grapes have ripened properly, the bunches are harvested separately by hand. In general, both varieties will take different paths for the vinification of Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha, where the main objective is the minimum possible intervention. That means the grapes arrive at the winery separately and are destemmed. From there, Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha goes directly to stainless steel tanks where it ferments at a controlled temperature. Once converted into wine, Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha macerates for 14 days (Grenache) and 18 days (Monastrell). Once this stage has been completed, each of the batches goes to a different place: concrete tanks for the Monastrell and 225-litre French barrels for the Grenache. In both containers, the aging time will not exceed 5-6 months. However, the real magic of Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha lies in the fact that it is made in the same wine presses built by the Jesuits in the 15th century and still preserved today.
Although this is the minimum time required by the winery, Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha still has much more life ahead of it, as its great aging potential means it will be at its best in 5 to 10 years.
Los Frailes Monastrell-Garnacha 2021 is a red wine that captivates with its fruity character and youthful vivacity. On the nose, it unfolds scents of ripe cherries and raspberries, heralding a delectably sweet-tasting sip. On the palate, it is gentle and affable, with a rounded texture and a fullness that satiates the palate, all the while preserving that essence of succulence that beckons one to continue imbibing. A vibrant and approachable wine, perfect for those desiring to indulge in an uncomplicated pleasure.