Have you met Juan Gil's big brother?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sandwiched between the Juan Gil silver label ($16 release price) and El Nido Clio ($45) is an interesting wine. The blue labeled Juan Gil 18 Meses (months) carries a release price of $35.

While visiting Spain last summer I saw this bottling at several restaurants but I never had a chance to taste it. Although we tasted at Juan Gil, and El Nido, and at a couple of restaurants where wineries would bring their wines I never got a chance to try the blue labeled Juan Gil.

I sensed that was due to production levels (15,000 for the silver label vs. 2,500 for the blue label) as much as QPR proposition. By QPR I mean - if this is just a bigger/better version of Juan Gil why pay twice as much for it? Especially if you can get Clio for just a little more?

But I had a chance to try the Juan Gil 18 month blue label recently and I was impressed.

The composition is more similar to El Nido than Juan Gil proper. Whereas Juan Gil silver label is 100% Monastrell, El Nido Clio is 70% Monastrell/30% Cabernet. Juan Gil blue label is 60% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet, 10% Syrah. And it comes together brilliantly. The 18 Meses denotes the 18 months the wine spends in oak barrels (vs the 12 for the silver label and 4 for an even more affordably labeled wine that sees no distribution in the US). And whereas some old vine Monastrell can come off as raisiny and/or pruney this wine never goes anywhere near that territory. It's a gorgeous effort.

Here are my notes on the 2010 blue label...

2010 Juan Gil 18 Meses Blue Label
$35 Release Price
15.5% Alcohol

Gorgeous nose of expressive rich blackberry, vanilla, and blueberry. Deftly avoids veering into boozy territory, especially on the palate, as it reigns it in with a clean, taut mouthfeel that's not overly plump yet still velvety. Really hard to do and something I've seen Juan Gil/El Nido Clio do well consistently. An extraordinarily finely crafted wine.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

CellarTracker
Wine-Searcher

Conclusion and Recommendations

Definitely give the Juan Gil 18 Meses blue label a whirl if you can catch this in the mid-$20s. I think this is a very nice member of the Juan Gil family that fits squarely between the ever-delicious Juan Gil silver label in the $10-$15 range and the amazing El Nido Clio you can find in the mid-$30s.

Do you like hearing about great value wines like this? I'd love it if you subscribed to The Wellesley Wine Press so we can keep in touch.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP