This project was launched by Artadi, the legendary Rioja winery which settled in the area in 1999 to work alongside Agapito Rico, a local producer with proven experience working with Monastrell (Mourvèdre) grapes in Jumilla.
Far from its key Rioja project and the Atlantic character of its Garnachas in Navarra, the emphasis here is totally Mediterranean. Artadi's base is El Pinoso, an estate with 40 hectares of vineyards on clay-poor sandy loam soils located in the western end of the Denomination.
El Sequé (21€) is one the best Monastrell wines made in Spain: powerful and fully ripened, reflecting the climate conditions in the area, but offering a balsamic tone that brings freshness. Aging is done in 500-litre barrels, which suit the lower tannin levels found in Mediterranean varieties.
The range includes a second wine, Laderas del Sequé (7€) which contains a small portion of Syrah in the blend. Honouring the Fondillón tradition in the region, a sweet wine (29€) was added in the 2011 vintage, although unlike the traditional style, which is naturally sweet, El Sequé is fortified with alcohol.
Other wineries in the group are Artadi and Artazu.