As Spain’s winemaking revolution matures, Jumilla continues to produce some of the world’s great wine values. The region’s native Monastrell—Mourvèdre elsewhere—is one of the most prized varieties of Mediterranean Europe. And on account of the reliably hot, dry summers, ripeness is rarely an issue.

Yet Jumilla has a diversity of terroirs, certain of which clearly transcend mere “value.” And the wines of Paco Selvas Bodegas Olivares have done just that, thanks to a singular terroir and the perspective necessary to give it a meaningful voice.

Jumillas Secret

Olivares estate vineyard, Finca Hoya de Santa Ana, is located in Jumillas northwestern quadrant, whose unique characteristics distinguish it from the rest of the appellation. For example, this special zone lies at over 800 meters elevation, where nights cool down quickly, resulting in wines with astounding freshness and equilibrium.

But, perhaps more importantly, Pacos 65 hectare here boasts incredibly sandy soil and ungrafted vines, of which this may be the worlds largest individual holding. The former provides the wine with a rich perfume; the latter depth and complexity.

The Holy Grail: Ungrafted Vines

These same sandy soils that give Bodegas Olivares wines their perfumed aromatics were also anathema to the Phylloxera root louse that devastated all but a handful of Europes vineyards in the late 1880s.

And so Pacos holdings form an important part of an elite group of vineyards that survived on their original rootstocks, including Quinta do Novals Nacional vineyard and Bollingers Vignes Françaises.

Olivares Twin Peaks 

Prior to 1998, the Selva familys business was in bulk wine, but each year they made an ambrosial dessert wine, Dulce, for their own consumption. To produce this nectar, they left a few acres of vines to hang late into the fall. Even in normal vintages, these vines achieved spectacular ripeness.

This wine was reserved solely for the family until 1998, when they began to commercialize it. It was an immediate sensation in Spain, with top restaurants and shops rushing to feature it.

Inspired by the Dulces success, Paco turned his attention to producing sumptuous red table wines from his priceless old vines. His vineyard already yielded fruit with tremendous aromatics and deft balance, and he was loathe to hide that with cosmetic oak. From the beginning he has employed used barrels purchased from other estates for aging the wine.

His first release came in 2000: Altos de la Hoya.  Made exclusively from old, ungrafted vineyards, it is certainly a phenomenal value, but also shows the breed and restraint that are the hallmarks of great wine.

And as their experience with these new wines grows, and with a wealth of old vineyards to draw from, there is no limit to Olivares potential.

Technical Information


Established: 1996 
Proprietor: Olivares Family
Winemaker: Pascual Olivares
Vineyard Mgr: Pascual Olivares


Soils: Sand/chalk
Zone: Located in the northeast part of Jumilla, the vineyards are at higher altitudes than the rest of the appellation. Sandy soils make possible a percentage of ungrafted vines that could be unique in Europe.
Elevation: 825 m
Harvest: Late Harvest, begins 3rd week of October, finishes 1st week in November.


  • Functionally organic viticulture.
  • Maceration of 30+ days.
  • Grapes are harvested by hand.
  • Fermentation of Dulce stopped by addition of ~2% alcohol. ( nal alcohol degree: 16%)
  • No irrigation is employed. 


  Fruit Source Avg Yields Blend Aging Prod

Altos de la Hoya “Ungrafted Old Vines”

Ungrafted vines planted between 1872 and present.

<25 hL/hA

95% Monastrell / 5% Garnacha

Combination of barrique and Frech oak foudres of 6.000 and 10.000 lts. A few barrels are new, but most are 2nd & 3rd passage barrels from elite Burgundy producers. Only french oak is used for aging.

25,000 cases

Dulce Monastrell

From an 11-hectare parcel ungrafted vines planted between 1872 and present. 

<17 hL/hA

100% Monastrell (Mourvèdre) from the vineyard’s oldest vines

Bottled June after the harvest.

3,000 cases

Jumilla tinto

Various estate parcels.

<25 hL/hA

75% Monastrell / 15% Garnacha /10% syrah

3 months in French oak foudres of 10.000 lts.

50,000 cases

Jumilla rosado

Various estate parcels.

30 hL/hA

70% Garnacha /30% Monastrell

Aged in stainless tanks

6,000 cases


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Wine barrels in a cellar

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