2016 Casa Castillo Monastrell Vino de Finca

Year: 2016
Appellation: Jumilla
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 92
James Suckling: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
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"There is a new middle-of-the-range red, above the Monastrell and below the single-vineyard wines, already in its second vintage with the 2016. This 2016 Vino de Finca comes from the oldest vineyard (from the grapes that used to go to the Monastrell) and also from different parts within the estate. It's mainly Monastrell with some 5% Garnacha, fermented with part of full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in oak foudres for one year. This is incredibly aromatic and expressive, with floral notes that I don't often find in Monastrell, elegant, balanced, fresh ... simply unbelievable. It has an outstanding palate, with refined tannins and great length. 26,500 bottles were filled in September 2017.

There are a couple of new reds from Casa Castillo released in 2017, a middle-of-the-range wine that will slowly replace the entry-level Monastrell and a top-of-the-range wine, a Monastrell from old vines bottled as an homage to Nemesio Vicente, founder of the winery, who died in April 2017.

As for the wines, I tasted 2015, a classic Mediterranean year of exceptional quality that resulted in powerful and ripe wines that they counter-balanced by fermenting with more full clusters, and the cooler and more continental 2016, with lighter and more vertical wines in line with what I saw from 2013. There is no Valtosca, the Syrah, in 2016." (WA)

"This is super fresh with attractive blueberries, raspberries and red plums. The palate is silky and even, delivering a succulent, juicy and fresh array of ripe blackberries and blueberries. Drink in the next 3 to 4 years." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Widely acknowledged as the leading proponent of Monastrell in Spain, José Maria is not content to just double down on this variety. While the ubiquitous Monastrell is at the heart of his endeavors, he’s always played against expectations in pursuit of the true meaning of his sandy clay and rocky terroir. In the 1990s it was with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah which have been completely (in the case of the Cab) and partially replaced with Garnacha. One look at his soils, in many cases remarkably analogous to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Garnacha seems the obvious choice but one which few in Jumilla has sought to explore apart from José Maria. With more and more Garnacha coming online from the grafting over of his Cabernet and with the planting of young vines, a new expression of Jumilla began to form at Casa Castillo – one that uses older vine Monastrell as its base but enlivened with about 5% Garnacha. Called Vino de Finca, or Estate Wine, this new cuvée was first made in 2015 and shows what a remarkable difference that small amount of Garnacha can make. Of course it is not just the blend that makes Finca so expressive, but its indigenous fermentation, inclusion of whole clusters, and a gentle maceration – all in 1200L French oak vats.