2021 Casa Castillo Monastrell
Mainly Monastrell (Mouvedre)
Considered by many to be the finest estate in Jumilla, Bodegas Casa Castillo is an unexpected discovery and a wonderful one. It is located on the plateau of this underrated wine region. José Maria Vicente is a third-generation owner and operator of Casa Castillo, his grandfather purchased the property in 1941. The original cellar and vineyard was built by Frenchmen fleeing the phylloxera plague in 1870. Jose María and his father replanted the whole property with native varietals in 1985 with the first vintage in 1991. They now have a 174-hectare vineyard which enjoys a high altitude of 400-800m, and the cooling influence of the Mediterranean. Lovers of Bandol wines should take note of Casa Castillo; the grape varieties they use are led by Monastrell (Mourvèdre). These are old bush vines that yield very small amounts of highly concentrated juice. Fermentations are in stainless steel tanks and concrete vats. Pigeage is done by foot, and whole clusters are increasingly used. Aging follows in concrete, foudre, and 500L French oak demi-muids. The wines are generally bottled unfiltered to allow them to be as expressive as possible, and they are an absolute bargain for the quality produced. This is an incredibly elegant, precise interpretation of Monastrell. Concentrating on freshness, acidity, length and structure (over alcohol, oak and dry extract). Their top wine Pie Franco (named after the un-grafted vines) is building a reputation as one of the greatest reds in Spain.
What The Critics Say
93/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Luis Gutierrez
"2021 was also an exceptional vintage at Casa Castillo, quite similar to 2020. There's a little more concentration here compared with 2020, a balanced and textured year; 2021 is a little more varietal, classical Jumilla and Casa Castillo, powerful and elegant. In cold years, he uses more full clusters, and in warm ones, he uses less; in 2021 he used a little less than in 2020, as the summer of 2021 was slightly warmer than in 2020. All their vineyards and wines are certified organic. The perfumed, floral and elegant 2021 Monastrell has 15% Garnacha (the maximum allowed if the wine is called Monastrell), as it's from a year that had more Garnacha vines, and he keeps planting the variety in the property because it gives the blend more elegance and freshness. The Monastrell matured in used barrels for eight to nine months, and the Garnacha matured in concrete. It's juicy and tasty, with fine-grained tannins and 14.5% alcohol but with great balance. It's Mediterranean with elegance. Great value. Drink 2023-2028"
92+/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Luis Gutierrez (2020 vintage)
"The 2020 Monastrell is pure Monastrell in this exceptional vintage for the grape (in previous years it had up to 20% Garnacha, but there was little Garnacha in 2020). The grapes come from sandy vineyards on the valley floor, and they fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and a shortish maceration. The wine matured in 500-liter oak barrels and 5,000-liter oak vats for nine months. In 2020, there were more grapes from old vines that were used before for the Vino de Finca, which was discontinued. This wine is very aromatic, elegant, expressive and reaching a level I have not seen before in this wine. It's refreshing, light, balanced, nuanced, with velvety tannins and very clean, really transcending its price point. Balanced is the word, and it's also available and affordable and sets the tone for the 2020s. 186,000 bottles produced. There are different lots of this wine from the same master blend. I tasted the first bottling from October 2021." Drink 2022 - 2028
|2022 - 2028
This Wine Goes Well With
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