27 Oct The origins of Almansa wine
Winegrowing in Almansa probably dates from the 16th century, and wine has been produced in the region ever since. Almansa stands around 700 metres (2,300 feet) above sea level in the eastern corner of the province of Albacete, bordering Valencia, Alicante and Murcia.
The denomination of origin, established in 1975, encompasses 8 boroughs and 7,600 hectares (some 19,000 acres) of land under vine. It includes the boroughs of Almansa, Alpera, Bonete, Corral Rubio, Higueruela, Hoya Gonzalo, Pétrola and the locality of El Villar de Chinchilla, all within the province of Albacete.
In the past, the wines of this region were in great demand in other European markets for their high alcohol levels and deep colour, and they were often mixed with wines from more northerly climes, where fermentation could be more difficult, in order to add those qualities of colour and strength. These wines were traditionally shipped in bulk.
Today, the winemakers of the region use modern technology to make quality bottled wine, which is winning over the palates of wine-drinkers in over 25 countries.
The leading grape varieties for red wine in the Denominación de Origen Almansa are Garnacha Tintorera (which, with its unusual red flesh, produces wines of intense colour and full flavour) and Monastrell (which produce wines that are powerful and full-bodied, with a hint of sweetness).
These wines are characterized by their complex aromas (of ripe fruit, smoke, a touch of log fire) and richly intense colour. The excellent levels of acidity along with rigorous oversight of the fermentation process make them ideal for the production of high quality wines well-suited to ageing in oak casks to gain ‘Crianza’, ‘Reserva’ and ‘Gran Reserva’ status.
Though best known for its red wines, it also produces fresh young white wines and fruity, young, sometimes sweet, rosés. The white wines, made from Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, are light, but with a yellow richness, and are moderately aromatic.
The rosé wines run from bright strawberry-pink in colour to a lighter pink with hints of orange. These are fresh, light wines, that are vivaciously fruity in the mouth.