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The Ponce family does it again – another brilliant value red from one of Manchuela’s top wineries

DO Manchuela

Medium cherry red with a violet rim, this fresh, mineral red wine exudes aromas of ripe red fruit (think strawberry jam), with a touch of toasted caramel. A juicy, slightly sweet and floral palate with a subtle lick of spice. Brilliantly complex for the Price; if you’re a fan of young Beaujolais wines you should definitely try Depaula.


Regular price €7.99 EUR
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Technical details

  • Producer: Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce
  • Region: DO Manchuela
  • Vintage: 2023
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Grapes: Monastrell

Food pairings

This wine will go well with:

  • Red meats
  • Stews
  • Pasta dishes

Who makes it

Bodegas Ponce is a family-run winery based in the village of Villanueva de la Jara, about 50km north of Albacete in the southern half of DO Manchuela,. Like so many family-focused bodegas, the story began many years ago when Juan Antonio Ponce inherited a vineyard from his father planted with very old Bobal bush vines. The family farmed the vines together, until Juan Antonio’s son – slightly confusingly also called Juan Antonio! – went off to Requena to study at its famous viticulture and enology school.

Graduating at the very young age of eighteen, Juan Antonio did various harvests in and around Manchuela until at the age of twenty-one he began working for Telmo Rodriguez, one of Spain’s most respected modern winemakers, across various Spanish DOs.

Founded in 2005 with 17 hectares of vineyard, the Ponce family now farm 35 hectares of various grape varieties, although old vine Bobal remains their speciality. Soils are predominantly chalky clay, with some limestone parcels. The vines are all farmed organically and all the wines are certified organic.

The grapes

Native to Spain, Monastrell is a warm climate grape variety known by various different names in other countries: Mourvèdre, for example, in France, or Mataro in parts of the New World like California or Australia.

You’ll find Monastrell vines planted throughout the Levante region as well as parts of La Mancha, but it’s at its best in the south-east corner of the Iberian Peninsula, where it accounts for 80% of the total vines planted.

Monastrell is ideally suited to the climate of southern Spain. It is very drought resistant and manages to produce surprisingly expressive wines from quite nutrient-poor soils. The hot, dry climate also keeps certain grapevine diseases at bay, cutting down on the need for more chemical-based treatments and making it easier for growers to make organically-certified wines.

Monastrell is one of Spain’s best-loved red grapes, and it has long had an important role in the winemaking culture of the south-east, especially the Levante region. For wine-lovers familiar with GSM blends (Garnacha, Syrah and Mourvèdre) from the southern Rhone or Australia, the Monastrell-based wines from Levante are an opportunity to discover yet another of the variety’s different flavour profiles.

A few years back, Monastrell wines were famed for being very full-bodied wines loaded with tannins. Traditionally, Monastrell has had a similar profile to Syrah: full-bodied, rich, dark red in colour and laden with black fruit and spice. But these days, you’ll find more and more producers making subtler, more delicately-flavoured wines with generous fruit: more aromatic, balanced wines that are easy to drink and long on the palate to maximise enjoyment.

Where it's made

About 100 km inland from the Mediterranean, Manchuela has been a winemaking region for centuries. Its 12,500 hectares of vineyards span the two provinces of Cuenca and Albacete and are sliced in half from north to south by the Jucar and Cabriel rivers. The area is a plateau, between 600 and 1,000 metres above sea level.

Most of the DO’s wineries are at the southern end where long hours of sunshine and low and predictable rainfall are factors that help make winegrowers' lives easier. To the north, the altitude rises, and cooler winds help keep vines healthy. That in turn helps keep down the need for chemical pesticides, hence the number of organic wines you can find in the DO.

How it's made

Harvested by hand from 30 year old Monastrell vines planted in chalky soil at 900 metres above sea level. The grapes are fermented in whole clusters with their own wild yeasts in 4,500 litre, wooden vats or fudres. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is aged for 7 months in 15,000 litre fudres made from French oak. No fining or filtering before bottling.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
David Jones-Evans

I found Depaula very good with marinated rabbit 🐿