Matanegra surrounds the small town of Zafra, approximately 19 miles (30 km) south of Almendrajelo. The production of Spanish wines in this area with 8,000 hectares of vines in cultivation is mainly in the hands of family businesses. Ribera Baja del Guadiano (the lower loop of the Guadiana, that extends to 7,000 hectares) is situated just to the west of Badajoz.
Ribera Alta del Guadiano (upper loop of the Guadiana, that extends to 8,500 hectares) is found around the towns of Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena, about 75 miles (120 km) upstream of Badajoz. Montanchez is a small territory of 4,000 hectares, situated surrounding the small town of the same name, about 44 miles (70 km) north-east of Badajoz. This area is known for its ancient vines and olive trees. It is a picturesque region with lots of gently undulating hills and hospitable valleys.
Monsieur Pasquet bought this vineyard in 1990 and was able to draw on his previous experience working in Saint-Estèphe on the vineyards of Château Marbuzet—a useful apprenticeship.
When M. Pasquet acquired the vineyard, which produces a Premières Côtes de Blaye AOC cru, it was already in excellent condi¬tion, with the vines averaging twenty-five years in age. His first projects were to restore the stones of the longère —a long building typical or the region— to their original blond beauty, and to bring the cellar up to his standards. For the winemaking, a sorting facility was, added, so that only perfectly sound grapes would go into the vats.
Local experts say that an Easter must pass before these Wines are at their best. 'Les Crus du Beaujolais doivent faire leurs Paques.'
The wine is rarely to be found in shops earlier than this in any case. The French wines of the ten Crus only fully develop after being allowed to rest for a few months.
Two of the ten Crus of Beaujolais are located on the slopes of the 1,200 feet high Mont Brouilly, on granite and slate soils. The 300 hectare of vineyards of Cotes de Brouilly are found on the sunny side of the extinct volcano. The wine is purple to mauve with a very refined and elegant bouquet of fresh grapes and irises. Leave a Cotes de Brouilly wine to rest for a time before opening. Drink it at approx. 55.4°F (13°C).
The vineyards are somewhat more extensive here, covering approx. 1,200 hectares. The soil is mainly granite and sand . The wine is ruby red in colour and has a fruity nose in which red fruits such as plum, and occasionally peach are clearly discernible. The better Brouilly wines also have a hint of mineral in them. This is a full, darker wine with a firm taste. Drink it at about 53.6°F (12°C).
The 520 hectares of this vineyard were only recognised as Cru du Beaujolais in 1988. The ground is gently undul ating and relatively high (average 1,148 feet /350 metres). A fairly supple wine is made here which is both elegant and seductive. The colour is pure cherry red and the nose reminds of red fruit The colour is a pure ruby red with wonderful reflections and the taste is both velvet smooth and fleshy.
Good Fleurie from the best vintages can be kept for ten years or more. Drink Fleurie at about 55.4°F (13°C).
This Cru derives its name from the recently and perfectly restored windmill in Romaneche-Thorins. The soil of the 650 hectares of vineyards comprises pink granite and manganese. This imparts a darker, more highly concentrated ruby red colo ur to the wine in which purple and dark red al'e also present when young.
The nose is mainly reminiscent of flowers such as roses with a hint of raspberry. The taste is powerful and reasonably full of tannin. This firm texture enables Moulin-a-Vent to be kept for some time (up to 15 years). When mature this wine resembles Burgundy. Allow this French wine to rest for a couple of years before serving at about 57.2°F (14°C).
This French wine is almost unknown outside the area but this is not at all just. A very elegant wine is made with ref ined bouquet of peony and roses with occasional hint of wood and herbs on 260 hectares of granite soil. The taste is soft, generous, and friendly. Serve this wine at about 14°C (57.2°F). This wine too can be kept for quite a few years.
This is the most northerly Cru of Beaujolais, border ing on the Miiconnais. Deeply ruby red coloured wine is produced from 580 hectares of stony soil with layers of clay and sediments. The French wine has a powerful full taste and the bouquet is dominated by frwty (wild strawberry, redcurrant, and raspberry) scents with floral undertones (peony and roses).
Good Julienas can be kept for a few years. Drink this French wine at about 55.4°F (13°C).
This is the last of these northerly Crus. The vine-yards extend for 280 hectares and border the chalky Miiconnais (Char donnay) and granite hills of Beau jolais (Gamay).