Bullas is one of the most unique areas in Spain for old vine Monastrell based wines and is arguably set toeclipse better known areas like Jumilla due to a specific microclimate and ancient vines which producewines of great intensity. 3000 Años is a deep purple wine with pronounced aromas of black fruits andchicory characters – unique to Bullas Monastrell – toasty wood, cedar and cappucino. Despite being a fullbodied wine, it is surprisingly elegant with crisp acidity, tight tannins, a creamy vanilla texture and along mineral finish. Cellar a few bottles for up to 10 years to enjoy even more character and complexityat a later date, although it is also drinking brilliantly now with game, venison, wild boar and punchyragout or tomato-based dishes.WinemakingThe vineyards are amongst the highest altitude in Bullas at over 800m above sea level with complexlimestone and volcanic soils. Vines are dry grown and unirrigated in this inhospitable Mediterranean /Continental climate with extremes of temperature. Of the three Murcian DOs, Bullas has a fresher,longer growing season which favours minerality and balance in the wines. Low annual rainfall of 200-300mm and the remarkable climate combine to produce remarkable wines. The Monastrell grapes arefrom ancient (70-100 years old) bush vines rigorously selected so that yields were as low as 1.5kg pervine. The fruit was stored for 48hrs in a cool room to chill it to 4 degrees C. Bunches were selected tooptimise quality and then crushed to tank and held at below 10 degrees C to “cold soak” for up to 10days.
Temperature was then allowed to rise steadily to facilitate wild fermentation. Individual tanks werethen inoculated with Rhone isolated yeasts and plunged and gently pumped over to obtain gentleextraction. A few tanks were also allowed extended maceration after fermentation to add weight andcomplexity. The Syrah was similarly selected very carefully and a small cuvee of the best tanks wasblended and put to barrel for malolactic fermentation. 100% new French oak was chosen with a varietyof coopers with low to medium toast, so as not to dominate the wine. Similarly, a selection of largerbarrels (500 litres) was chosen to avoid oxidation and to respect the typicity of the Monastrell and Syrahgrapes. The barrels were roatated on runners to ensure complete mixing of wine and lees. As a result,the wood integration and mouthfeel have been optimised. Due to cold winter temperatures a longnatural malolactic fermentation took place, finally finishing in spring 2010. The wine was bottled at endof November 2011 and released in June 2013.
Norrel Robertson M.W.
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