Interpreting the Monastrell
While I studied at the Institut National Agronomique, I took good note of Professor Jean Branas’ remarks regarding the interest of old Monastrell vines from the Alicante region.
I visited the vineyards of Alicante for the first time in 1998 with my friend Telmo Rodriguez who introduced me to the Poveda family, major local wine negociants.
In 2008, I went back to Alicante to purchase an anchorage spot for my new boat.
At that time, Stéphane Point, who had been working for almost 10 years in Portugal for Prats & expressed the intention of leaving the Douro region.
Hence, I proposed to Stéphane to become a partner in a new viticultural project in the Alicante Appellation.
In February 2009, Stéphane started an in depth visit of this wine region in order to assess the quality of the different vineyards and set-up agreements with the plots owners that would include viticultural advice and grape purchasing contracts.
Then , we set up a small-scale winemaking unit inside the Poveda family wine cellar in the heart of the Alicante Appellation.
Our first vintage was produced in 2009.
Stéphane and I not only share a taste for elegant and balanced wines without over-extraction and too much oak but we have in common a real passion for the search of new terroirs and we like to make hand-crafted wines using as little automated and mechanical intervention as possible.
The Monastrell (called Mourvèdre in France) was born in Alicante. Non-irrigated bush vines are the best way to grow Monastrell, such vines can reach 50 years and older, and their fruit can then show incomparable finesse and aromatic complexity.
Unfortunately, these old bush vines are low-yielding and the local growers tend to uproot them to benefit from European Union subsidies by growing higher-yielding and lower-quality grape-varieties on irrigated land. The IBP project's priority is to save the old vines by paying a fair price to the growers and producing a wine true to its origin.