The two Muradella wines (Blanco and Tinto) of Jose Luis represent an effort to capture the high elevation identity of the mountains of Monterrei. Both wines exhibit an elegance that is difficult to find among the wines tended in the lower valley of Monterrei. The wines from the mountains are exposed to cooler night temperatures making for fresher, brighter wines that possess less alcohol. The quartz soil of this area translates into wines that possesses more flavor definition. These elegant wines are extremely fine and precise! Jose Luis is fastly becoming one of the most respected growers in Spain. On a recent article about Quinta da Muradella published by Jancis Robinson she wrote: “Although it is fascinating to taste wines from these relatively obscure varieties, what shines here is 'the soul of Monterrei' and the deft, light-handed winemaking of a skilful and intuitive winemaker.”
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? Organically farmed head pruned vines, tended in Quartz soil in the high elevation mountains of Monterrei.
RATING HISTORY: 2015 94+WA; 2015 93 JS; 2012 95W&S; 2012 93WS, 2012 93IWC & JS; 2008 93IWC
GRAPE: 30% Mencia, 30% Mouraton, 30% Bastardo & 10% Garnacha Tintorera. Certified organically grown vines planted from 1930 - 1950. Tended in quartz and clay soil from 600 - 790 m (1,960 - 2,592ft) elevation.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Similar to a mature Grand Cru Burgundy or First Growth Bordeaux, pair this wine with the finest cuisine constructed of simple but constructed layers of flavor like oven-roasted duck, medallions of venison, grass-fed or Kobe beef steak, or simply prepared, pan-fried merluza (hake). The wild red berry profile of this wine should pair extremely well with wild mushroom varieties like chanterelle, hen-of-the-woods, chestnut, oyster, enoki, hedgehog and morels.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: 1/3 whole cluster, 1/3 whole berry with no stems, and 1/3 crush berries maceration and fermentation in foudre of 1,000 lit. 14 months in 3 year old French oak and 11 months in the bottle before release.
PRODUCTION: 333 cases (6 pack)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The winery's vineyards are located in Zone 1 within the region of Monterrei, towards the interior of Galicia, close to the Portuguese border. The soil here is quartz with small particles of clay. The climate is Atlantic with a Continental influence. Monterrei is one of the Galician appellations furthest from the Atlantic Ocean. This inland Continental setting brings a drier and warmer climate than western Galician regions. Here, there's an average 23 inches of yearly rainfall and closer to the water in Rias Baixas the average is 93 inches.
TASTING NOTES: The 2008 Muradella is made up of 30% Mencia, 30% Mouraton, 30% Bastardo, and 10% Garnacha Tintorera. The wine was vinified with ? whole clusters, ? whole berries with no stems, and ? crushed berries with maceration and fermentation in a 1000-liter foudre. The wine was then aged for 14 months in seasoned French oak. The wine's perfume offers up loads of spice, incense, lavender, and black raspberry aromas. On the palate it is quite mouth-filling, savory, and complex. This unique effort is likely to evolve for 1-2 years and drink well through 2020.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold