Established in 1916 in the Jumilla region of Spain by Juan Gil Jiménez, the Gil Family Estates empire now spans four generations of winemakers. Today, Gil Family Estates operates nine bodegas in eight different appelations, with a continued goal of producing high-end wines at a good value.
We recently tasted five different bottlings from Gil Family Estates, representing its holdings from across the country. Thoughts follow.
2013 Juan Gil Jumilla – 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre) from the home vineyard in Jumilla, in the southeast of Spain. A very chocolate-driven wine, the lush berry fruit goes on and on, layering in an almost chocolate syrup character with a seductive, lengthy finish. A really beautiful wine, and one that makes me wonder why more people aren’t toying with 100% Mourvedre wines. A- / $17
2013 Can Blau Monsant – 40% Mazuelo, 40% Syrah, 25% Garnacha. The Monstant region surrounds Priorat in the northeast of Spain, near Barcelona, and this wine is made in a similar style, though it’s not nearly as dense and rooty. A touch of balsamic gives the fruit — blackberry and some blueberry — an edge, along with chocolate notes that come along on the finish. Nice density, and quite food friendly. B+ / $17
2013 Tridente Tempranillo – 100% Tempranillo from western Spain, near the Portuguese border. A dark and dense wine, it features leathery and peppery notes atop a darkly fruity, almost raisiny core. Heavy tannin and dusty coal notes pervade. B+ / $17
2013 Atteca Old Vines – 100% Garnacha from Calatayud in northeast Spain. Intense fruit here drives the show, bright strawberry and cherry, with light touches of cola and root beer on the finish. One of the most fruit-forward wines in this collection, with a bright, New World structure. B+ / $17
2014 Laya Almansa – 70% Garnacha Tintorera, 30% Monastrell. From Almansa in the southeast of Spain. A bit of a bummer after some high-quality wines preceding it, with this dense wine loaded with cassis and ultimately prune character, before settling into a chocolate candy-meets-raisin routine. Saccharine and simplistic, it’s easy enough at first, but over time it becomes off-putting. C+ / $9