Bodegas Juan Gil Silver Label 2018
Deep purple/black color. Explosive aromas of ripe currant, red berries and smoked notes. Rich, powerful and voluminous on the attack, a huge mouthful of crème-decassis concentration, silken and juicy in the mid-palate with excellent length and persistence, and a long spicy wellbalanced finish including toasted notes provided by the French wood.
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 Rhône. Really impressive. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2020.