Wine Advocate 93 points – I also tasted the following vintage, the 2018 Juan Gil (silver label), from a cooler and rainier, more continental vintage than the 2017 I tasted next to it. The origin is the same, Monastrell from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. This is the first vintage that is certified organic. There were some challenges, but they resulted in a fresh and balanced wine with integrated oak and a juicy and round palate. They have introduced optical sorting of the grapes, and perhaps that’s why there is more precision and purity. They cannot do manual sorting at this price point, but optical sorting seems like a good alternative. 2018 is a more difficult vintage than the 2017, yet this wine is better, juicier and seems to absorb the oak better, with just a smoky touch that reminded me somehow of a Northern Rhone. Really impressive. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2020..September/2020
The Monastrell grapes for this wine were selected from 40-year old parcels in the estate vineyards. Here shallow, chalky soils on a bed of limestone and rock, combined with an arid climate, produce the low yields (1,8 ton per acre) required for wine of this complexity. After harvesting, the deep purple grapes are whole-cluster macerated ”sur lie for 25 days, and then pressed and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels.
The origins of the winery date from 1916 when Juan Gil Gimenez, great grandfather of the present generation, started getting involved in the world of wines and built a winery in the heart of Jumilla. His son, Juan Gil Guerrero, dedicated his whole life to the wine business, but it was the third generation who really consolidated the winery. Juan Gil Gonzalez together with his brother Paco, the founder’s grandsons, forged an image of quality, reliability and efficiency. The present generation continually strives to maintain and improve the Juan Gil standard which is evident through the remarkable wines.