The SOMM Journal

April / May 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 108

{ }  7 In Castilla y León, Bodegas Tridente uses grapes from more than 40 parcels of very old vines, some planted as long ago as 1910, with one plotcalled Rejón, for which a special bottling is named—dating back to 1889. Varieties used include Tempranillo and the local Mencía and Prieto Picudo. In Catalunya, Cellers Can Blau in D.O. Montsant was one of the Gil fam - ily's earliest projects outside Jumilla, created in 2003. Differences in soil com- position and the range grape varieties in Montsantincluding Cariñena (Mazuelo), Syrah and Garnacha—result in fascinating blends of richness, power and complexity. BlueGray is a Gil Family Estates label ded - icated to a blend of Garnacha, Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon from D.O. Priorat. In D.O. Calatayud, Bodegas Ateca uses Garnacha grapes from old vines, some of which date back to the early 20th century, to create single-variety cuvées fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak. The winery was founded in 2005. Closer to home base, in the little-known D.O. Almansa, the Gil family's Bodegas Atalaya works with Monastrell and the red-fleshed Garnacha Tintorera grape (known else - where as Alicante Bouschet) to create oak-aged wines under the direction of winemaker Frank Gonzales, an Australian enologist of Spanish descent. Back in Jumilla, Bodegas El Nido, founded in 2001, is a collaboration between the Gil family and Australian enologist Chris Ringland. With 32 hectares (79 acres) of Monastrell vines, some of them a century old, 12 hectares (29 acres) of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1.8 hecatres (4 acres) of Syrah, El Nido produces the single-variety Syrah Corteo and two blends, the Monastrell-driven Clio and the Cabernet-dominant flagship El Nido. The U.S. is a key market for Gil Family Estates, essential to its growth. "Part of our philosophy," says Angel Gil, "is to satisfy the most informed and demanding consumer, which is the case with the U.S. consumer. We target consumers' specific palates when making the wines, which try to maintain a balance between centuries of tradition and new technologies to deliver lots of personality yet remain suited to American tastes." JESSIE BIRSCHBACH. RACHEL MACALISANG. ALBERT LETIZIA. DAVID GADD. Bodegas Shaya 2014 Rueda (SRP $16) Verdejo "Dried peach/stonefruit character ; pithy minerality; finished perfectly dry." —JB "Apricot, pear, lemon, lime— nice energy!" —RM Bodegas Shaya 2010 Habis, Rueda (SRP $27) Verdejo "Very apparent oak nose; seductive floral (gardenia) tones." —DG "Beautiful depth and spice; creamy oak." —RM Bodegas Juan Gil 2013 Silver Label, Jumilla (SRP $17) Monstrell "Jammy, candied blue fruits, tobacco; nice lift." —RM "Bright; briar, red raspberry, clove; nice vibrancy, buoyancy." —AL Bodegas Juan Gil 2013 100th Anniversary, Jumilla (SRP $20) 50% Monastrell, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah "Deep plum, fig and ripe fruits; nice oak integration and balance." —RM "Dark, blue and black berry fruit; clove, cedar—big boy!" —AL A Gil Family Estates Tasting photos by Dustin Downing On February 16, SOMM Journal Wine Editor Jesse Birschbach and Executive Editor David Gadd joined the wine team at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Beverly Hills for a tasting of recent releases from Gil Family Estates. Lead Sommelier Rachel Macalisang and Sommelier Albert Letizia contributed their extensive knowledge of Spanish wine to make this an enlightening tasting.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - April / May 2016