2015 Bodegas Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas

Year: 2015
Appellation: Yecla
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 92
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$8.99
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"The 2015 Solanera used to wear the ultimate Spanglish label, which said "Viñas Viejas of Monastrell" even if it was always a blend (in this vintage, the blend includes 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Garnacha Tintorera). The revamped 2015 has a completely different label that only keeps the "viñas viejas" moniker. In this wine, from the joint venture with U.S. importer Eric Solomon that started in 1999, they used part of full clusters and sourced the grapes from Casa Marta, a nine-hectare, head-pruned, dry-farmed plot on very stony soils in the north of Yecla at the foot of the Mount Arabí. It fermented in concrete vats and open-top barrels and matured in barrique, each variety separately, for some ten months, after which it was blended and bottled. This is the vintage of the big change in this wine, where, as with the majority of its siblings, there is better balance and more integrated oak, more freshness and better balance. The nose is quite captivating, especially after some time in the glass, when it starts developing some floral aromas, perfect ripeness, no warmth or alcohol and a powerful, yet terribly balanced palate with concentration and elegance, fine-grained tannins and clean, focused flavors. This is my favorite Solanera to date. 60,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2017.

Family Castaño has started to use French winemaker-consultant Jean Marc Lafage (Provence) mostly for the blends, starting in 2015. They have had a long-time working relationship with U.S. importer Eric Solomon and Spanish distributor Quim Vila, for whom they produce some custom cuvées. All these wines are now one single bottling, to make sure there is no lot variation. They have reduced maceration time and are experimenting with part of full clusters for the fermentation. These are wines like I hadn't seen before from Castaño." (WA)

"Another project between Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, the 2015 Solanera Vinas Viejas is fresh and lively, with ripe, sexy notes of blueberry and blackberry fruits intermixed with more subtle notes of violets, graphite and white pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and gorgeous purity of fruit, it’s another terrific vintage for this cuvée that’s ideal for drinking over the coming 2-4 years. The blend is 2014 is 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Garnacha, all aged 10 months in 80% French and 20% American oak." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Created by Ramon Castaño Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castaño is not nearly as old as the vines it owns. Starting quite small, the family has nurtured old plantings and re-planted other parcels and now owns about 400 hectares (10% of the D.O.) in four prime vineyard estates. Bodegas Castaño, as it is known today for its entrepreneurial spirit, focus and vision, really begun in the early 80’s when it slowly and carefully started to experiment with bottling and its state of the art winery facility. The family’s commitment to both quality and the Monastrell variety is unparalleled. Today, Daniel Castaño, one of Ramon’s sons, runs the winery with the help of other members of the family. Solanera is a custom cuvee for Eric Solomon Selections