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El Tiempo Que Nos Une

El Tiempo Que Nos Une

A work of art from a winery that is getting the highest plaudits

DO Jumilla

Single varietal Monastrell from old, pre-phylloxera vines planted 70 years ago. The nose is packed with ripe blackcurrant and dark cherry coupled with notes of black pepper and sweet spice. Slightly freshed fruit on the palate with a lovely balsamic touch which balances the sweetness of the fruit. A deliciously fresh Monastrell from a small, family winery that’s grabbing the wine world’s attention fast. Grab a bottle while you can – they’re selling fast!

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Technical details

  • Producer: Bodega Cerrón
  • Region: DO Jumilla
  • Vintage: 2022
  • ABV: 14%
  • Grapes: Monastrell

Food pairings

This wine will go well with:

  • Game
  • Cured meats
  • Stronger flavoured cheeses

Who makes it

Bodegas Cerrón is a family project run by siblings Juanjo, Lucía and Carlos Cerdán. The fourth generation in a family of local winegrowers and winemakers, the team use traditional organic and biodynamic methods that have been handed down through the generations, to preserve the history of the region and respect the natural vegetation of the landscape.

They work primarily with small plots of pre-phylloxera vines – from 70 to 100 years old - grown at altitudes of between 850 - 900m above sea level. The plots tend to have cooler north or north-westerly orientations and benefit from shallow limestone soil with a clay base that helps inject a lot of freshness into the wines. Dedicated to making wines that are as expressive of the local area and geography as possible, the team likes to separate all the grape varieties at harvest time, making micro-vinifications by plot that then go on to be bottled as estate, site or plot wines.

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, Bodega Cerrón included, 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

Denominación de Origen Jumilla covers about 27,000 hectares of vineyard in south east Spain. Straddling the northern corner of the region of Murcia and spilling over into the province of Albacete in the bottom right-hand corner of Castilla La Mancha, it’s a hot, dry region which was traditionally known for quite strong, full-bodied red wines made from the Monastrell grape which covers 70% of the vineyard area.

Historically, Jumilla has always exported a lot of wine of its wine. Southern Spain has been on the wine map going all the way back to the Phoenicians – for one very good reason. All that southern coastline was great for trade. In the second and third centuries BC, Mediterranean ports in Catalunya and Valencia were key exporters of wine to Rome, and that influence persists today. The grape variety Monastrell is known as Mourvèdre in France, and derives its name from Murviedro, which is what the Romans used to call the Valencian port which we know today as Sagunto.

Jumilla sits on the so-called Altiplano Levantino, which is a transition region between the higher, flat plains of La Mancha and the softer landscapes of the Levante. The landscape is one of contrast, with vines planted from about 320 metres above sea level in the valleys and up to 900 metres at the highest points. Although the Mediterranean is quite close by – Albacete is just 100km away as the crow flies - Jumilla’s climate is predominantly continental. Winters are cold with temperatures below zero, while in the summer it’s not uncommon for the mercury to get above 40º.

Jumilla is a great places to explore for wine lovers, with plenty of fuller-bodied reds but increasingly lots of fresher wines from higher altitude plots. All that heat helps keep diseases at bay and cuts down on the need for chemical-based treatments which makes it easier for growers to make organically-certified wines. Another local advantage is the number of ungrafted, or pie franco vines which tend to give lower yields and make for more complex wines.

How it's made

El Tiempo Que Nos Une is made from 100% Monastrell grapes planted 70 years ago at 850 – 900 metres above sea level in limestone soil. The grapes are harvested and selected by hand, before undergoing spontaneous fermentation in concrete tanks to simulate the traditional fermentation method, with 40% of the fruit kept on the stem and fermented as a whole cluster to boost freshness. The grapes then undergo a soft press and malolactic fermentation in 10,000 litre French oak vats, where the wine is then left to age for a further 10-12 months.

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