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Yecla Wine

Yecla is the smallest and northernmost wine zone in Murcia, far southeastern Spain. Named after the town of Yecla at its center, the zone was delimited and granted official DO status in 1975. It is surrounded on all sides by other DO: Jumilla to the west, Alicante to the east and Almansa in the north. The classic Yecla wine is a rich, dark, fruit-driven red made from Monastrell grapes.

Although officially a single region, Yecla is unofficially divided into two zones, distinguished by their relative altitudes. The higher, northern Campo Arriba, with its older vines and more concentrated wines, is generally more highly regarded than the lower, southern Campo Abajo.

The coat of arms of Yecla

The climate here, 50 miles (80km) inland, marks the transition between coastal Mediterranean influences and the harsh continental climate of Spain's hot, arid interior. Rainfall is low, with less than 12in (300mm) falling annually. Thankfully, the limestone soils here are efficient at storing whatever rainfall the region is fortunate enough to receive. Altitude also serves to moderate temperatures here; the zone sits at the eastern edge of the Cordillera Subbética mountain range. Most Yecla vineyards sit between 1312ft (400 m) and 2625ft (800 m) above sea-level.

Yecla's hot, dry summers are ideal for the late-ripening Monastrell grape variety, which dominates the local vineyards and wines. Roughly 80% of Yecla's total vineyard area is planted to Monastrell, the rest divided between Spanish favorites Garnacha and Tempranillo, and French "international" varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The small quantity of white Yecla Blanco produced each year is made from Chardonnay, Macabeo and Airen.

Traditionally, the local red wines were made in a lighter, fruitier style than they are today. These were often vinified by carbonic maceration, and were intended for consumption within a couple of years of vintage. Today, the fashion has shifted towards conventional winemaking and complex, well-structured, barrel-aged examples which can be cellared for five years or so.

Viniculture was introduced to the Yecla area by the Phoenicians in ancient times, but wine did not become an important part of the local economy until the 20th Century. Yecla's economy has traditionally revolved around agriculture, particularly grain, fruit and oil (the Castaño family produce olive oil here to complement their broad wine portfolio). In more recent years, however, it has become better known for its quality furniture-making and, very recently, quality red wine. Since the 1980s, the local wine producers and the Consejo Regulador (wine authority) have worked to produce distinctly Yecla wines, to create a distinctive personality for the region's wines.

The well-known Familia Castaño group is based here, and produces a range of Yecla wines (white, red and rosé), as well as a few from neighboring Jumilla and Alicante. Also based here is one of Spain's largest cooperative wineries, Bodegas La Purísima, which serves as a reminder of the area's bulk-producing past. Yecla's ever-improving reputation has not gone unnoticed, as demonstrated by foreign interest in the region. Castaño partnered with investors from Switzerland to set up the Sierra Salinas winery in Villena (technically part of the Alicante DO zone), and Hollywood filmmaker and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola added a Yecla-grown wine to his portfolio for at time.

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We found 98 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Bodegas Castano Hecula Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $11 4107
Bodegas Castano Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $10 4394
Bodegas Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $15 4840
Bodega Senorio de Barahonda Barrica, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre - Syrah $11 6970
Bodega Senorio de Barahonda 'Sin Madera' Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $10 9851
Bodegas Castano Gran Calero Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $11 13648
Bodegas Castano Dulce Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $26 13908
Bodega Senorio de Barahonda Tranco Monastrell - Cabernet Sauvignon, Yecla, Spain N/A $11 15235
Bodegas Castano Monastrell Rosado, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $10 17602
Altos del Cuco Monastrell - Syrah - Tempranillo, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $10 17830
Vinos Sin-Ley M Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $13 20618
Bodegas Castano Casa Cisca, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $47 23077
Molino Loco Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $10 23491
Manny O. Sumiller, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $21 25224
Bodegas Castano Coleccion Cepas Viejas, Yecla, Spain N/A $16 31432
Vinos Sin-Ley M5 Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $13 33016
Castillo del Baron Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $10 35894
Bodega Senorio de Barahonda 'Carro' Tinto, Yecla, Spain N/A $8 39940
Bodegas Castano Dominio Espinal Tinto, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre - Syrah $6 46866
Casa del Canto Roble, Yecla, Spain Cabernet - Mourvedre - Syrah $10 47349
Montgo Monastrell - Shiraz, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre - Syrah $8 48770
Bodegas Castano Macabeo - Chardonnay, Yecla, Spain Chardonnay - Viura $8 49867
Bodegas La Purisima Trapio Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $30 52440
Casa Carmela Monastrell, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $11 53095
Bodega Senorio de Barahonda 'Bellum El Remate' Tinto Dulce, Yecla, Spain Mourvedre (Monastrell) $47 53404
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