Melea Organic Red 2020

Producer: Bodegas Volver
Region: Castilla-La Mancha
Appellation: La Mancha
Country: Spain
Classification: VdlT
Wine Type: Red
Variety: Tempranillo
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 13.5%
Soil: Limestone, chalk, sandy loam
Farming Practices: Organic and sustainable.
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Cellar Profile

Melea wines are the creation of the Madrid-based Long family, one of Spain’s premier negociants. This small, talented team of wine professionals have been dedicated to sourcing, marketing and exporting award-winning Spanish wines for nearly two decades. The Melea project is a limited range of organic, vegan wines inspired by the rare bee Anthophora Melea. Bees play a vital role in our food supply chain. They are also important actors in the production of wine, pollinating the vines and carrying around the natural yeasts of the vineyard that are used in the fermentation process.


Castilla-La Mancha is located on a large plateau in Spain’s interior. The third largest autonomous region is Spain, it is surrounded by three different mountain ranges, enjoying an interesting cross between a Mediterranean and Continental climate. Soils are mostly reddish-brown clay, with high levels of limestone and chalk. There is no real dominant central city in the region, but rather small villages and communities scattered throughout, each enjoying its own wine and gastronomic traditions. Known primarily for producing bulk wine, some producers have taken great strides in recent years to restrict yields and take more care with viticulture, and the region now produces elegant and complex wines that offer tremendous value.


Melea’s vineyards are planted in limestone and chalk-rich sandy soils. Practicing dry farming, these Organic certified vines are greatly stressed by dense plantings and well-drained soils, producing a scant 3kg of fruit per plant. The evenings see a fairly large diurnal shift in temperature, which helps maintain acidity and freshness, and produces wines with complexity and depth of flavour.


Tempranillo is an early-ripening variety that tends to thrive in chalky vineyard soils such as those of the Ribera del Duero and Rioja regions of Spain. In Portugal, where the grape is known as Tinto Roriz and Aragonez, it is blended with other varieties to produce Port. In 2015, Tempranillo was the fourth most widely-planted wine grape variety in the world; 87% of these plantings are in Spain. Depending on vineyard age and mesoclimate, tempranillo-based wines result in notes ranging from strawberries, blackcurrants and cherries to prunes, chocolate and tobacco.


Grapes are hand-harvested from low-yielding vines. Hand-sorted and pressed into stainless steel, the juice undergoes a long, slow fermentation and maceration in temperature-controlled stainless steel using native yeasts. After some tank aging, the wine is lightly fined using a vegan pea protein before bottling.

Tasting Notes 

An explosion of fruit on the nose: black cherry, blueberry, damson and currant. On the palate, this mid-weight charmer has replays of the berry fruit along with cocoa nibs, licorice and olive notes. There are some perceptible tannins, but the balance here is from acidity. This can enjoy a light chill and would pair well with grilled choriço, a handful of toasted almonds or sipped alone in the evening with a good book.