The region of Alicante is located in Southeastern Spain, some 100 miles south of Valencia. Although many of the vineyards in the zone are within a few kilometres of the sea around the large city of Alicante, most of the parcels are futher inland. As with many other Spanish wine regions were cultivated here by the Romans after being planted originally by the Phoenicians. Now, the zone is cimprised of just over 15.000 hectares, about one fifth the size as it was pre-phyloxera.
Created in 1989, Bodegas Enrique Mendoza was established by the man of the same name in zone of Alicante some 70 kilometres from the city os Alicante. Now, Pepe Mrndoza, Enrique's son, has taken over the vinemaking responsabilities from his father and has become quite known for his use of newer varietals in the zone instead of the traditional Monastrell.
Bodega Enrique Mendoza
Alicante benefits from a Mediterranean climate, with warm days and nights during the summen months. However, parcels in the extreme western zones of the region are affected by a more continental climate, with hot dry winds. Rainfall is ver slow (200-300 liters/meter squared per year). The soil contains a high limestone content, with only small amounts of clay. As a result, it is not very fertile and yields are low. With careful, attention, this has led to some extraordinary result in the bottle.
Pepe Mendoza's credo is simply to put the vines under as much hydric stress as possible (he monitors moisture levels constantly) to ensure a very small grape. His goal is to keep the skin to flesh ratio quite small in order to produce higher quality for his bottlings. Most of the wines are aged in French oak (he prefers Allier barrels), although most are fermented first in tank. Macerations are long (up to 28 days) and varietals are vinified separately.
As with many of the parcels of Alicante, the vineyards of Enrique Mendoza lie at an average of 400 meters altitude, with some parcels over 600 meters. "New" varietals to the zone have been planted in recent years and the bodega is taking full advantage of theis potential. Cabernet Sauvignon grows quite well here and Merlot has been used quite effective with it to produce wines with great complexity of fruit and ageing potential.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON MONASTRELL CRIANZA
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon and Monastrell from small lots selected from the Quebradas Valley vineyard from Finca el Chaconero which is at the foot of the mount Virgen en Villena.
Viticulture: Our Cabernet Savignon is grown on well-drained, fesh sandy-loam soils, pruned in doblet-guyot style to control and separe bunches and delay ripening. The Monastrell is on open sandy soil, dry and rigurous, bush vine and with high density of plants per hectare.
These grapes are grown acording to strict sustainable environmental practice.
Winemaking and cellaring: The grapes are fermented in small stainless steel tanks al low temperatures (25ºC), malolactic in barrel and the wine is aged for 11 months ib French Allier and American Oregon barrels.
Due to its artesanal style, with age the wine can throw a sediment.