Founded in 2011 and located a stone’s throw away from the historical centre of Jumilla, Ego Bodegas is the result of equal amounts of passion and hard work. The project is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Santos Ortiz and Ioana Paunescu who, without a background in the wine industry, started with nothing but a vision and the talent to make it a reality. After a six-month search for a canvas for their idea, they fell in love with a spectacular estate at the highest elevation in the DO Jumilla and planted to a fantastic stock of old Monastrell vines.
In this precious setting, Santos and Ioana built a state-of-the-art winery, where the winemaking team led by Irene Gomez, a talented 25-year-old and the youngest female winemaker in DO Jumilla, now crafts a collection of accessible, unpretentious, food friendly wines. These not only showcase the most beautiful expressions of Jumilla’s flagship variety, Monastrell, but also the outstanding potential of the region’s terroirs to produce great quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah.
All grapes are harvested by hand, and each plot and variety are vinified separately in stainless steel, preserving the maximum purity of fruit ahead of ageing in either steel, wood or bottle. The ultimate goal being the production of wines that are fresh and approachable upon release, even if with potential to be cellared for many years.
El Goru is a wine series, within Ego Bodegas’ wider range, that captures the different aspects of the love for the land of Jumilla and its many stories. It is named after a character of the region’s mythology, with many roles in the local imaginary: from shaman to teacher, by way of host and sleepless wanderer. Above all, El Goru was a lover, generous and complete in his fascination with all things, big and small, all people, friends or strangers, all moments, present, past or future.
The flagship wine of the El Goru series is the 38 Barrels, a unique snapshot of the best wines yielded by each vintage, blended from the most characterful 38 barrels, as selected by Irene Gomez and her team. The character and distinctiveness of this wine is a vindication of the passion and effort that animate the spirit of Ego Bodegas, recognised, year on year, by journalists and critics alike.
The 2020 vintage of El Goru 38 Barrels stood out the latest edition of the Decanter World Wine Awards, having received a Gold Medal accolade for its 96 points rating. The jury highlighted the ‘verve and drive’ of this blend of Monastrell (85%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%), aged for one year in new French and American barrels, with ripe dark fruit framed by ‘round tannins and lively acidity’.
The youthful drive of Monastrell has a perfect counterpoint in Cabernet Sauvignon’s luscious elegance, for a wine that carries the wood and alcohol with ease and shows great ageing potential. A perfect synthesis, therefore, of the three words that shape the identity (and name three of the first releases) of Ego Bodegas: Ego, Talento and Infinito. Ego as character and desire; Talento (talent) as the capacity to perform one’s labour with inspiration and skill; Infinito (infinity) has the absence of limits to the dreams that drive ideas and lead to the future.