The 2005 Bellum Providencia Yecla is yet another great value from a relatively unknown region of Spain. The casual wine drinker probably only knows Spain for Rioja which is Spain's most famous wine region or Denominacion de Origen (D.O.). More serious wine drinkers are probably also familiar with Priorat and Ribera del Duero. The best kept secret in the wine world these days is that Spain is loaded with numerous wine regions that produce a very wide variety of different grapes and styles of wine. The tradition of winemaking is long and storied in Spain, and over the past 20 years there has been a real quality revolution throughout most of the country, which has seen many regions move away from cheap, mass produced wines into much higher quality fine wines.
Yecla is one of many regions that is participating in this fantastic change where the focus in no longer on quantity but on quality. The winemakers in this D.O. as well as the neighboring D.O. of Jumilla, have discovered that they can make truly great wines with careful tending of the vines and attention to detail. They have been able to get fantastic results from the Monastrell (called Mourvedre in most other parts of the world) grape either on its own or as the primary grape blended with Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot. This is a big change from the old days in Spain when Monsatrell was for mass produced, lower quality wine or merely a blending grape. The great benefit for you and me is that they are making these very good wines and selling them at a very competitive price. To learn more about Yecla and other Spanish wine regions go to http://www.winesfromspain.com/icex/cda/controller/pageGen/0,3346,1549487_4946338_4944445_1147_2,00.html
The 2005 Bellum Providencia is made from 100% old vine Monastrell. As an interesting aside, the Bellum name and label comes from a prehistoric cave painting in the region depicting a war between two bear clans - the locals call the painting Bellum Ursi (The Battle of the Bear). In the glass you have an intense, dark purple wine with a very nice, full body to it. On the nose you get blackfruit - especially blackberry as well as some blueberry pie. This wine is jam packed with fruit flavor with lots of blackberry, black cherry, and blueberry. Tannins and a touch of spice provide some balance and a pleasing finish. At a price of $15, this wine is a solid value.
Enjoy Bellum Providencia with red meat, chorizo sausage, or BBQ ribs.