Welcome to Circle's Wine of the Week:
Casa Castillo Monastrell 2017
List Price $19.99
Circle's Sale Price $14.99
Internet Exclusive Price: $12.99
“Considered by many observers to be the finest estate in Jumilla, Casa Castillo is a treasure-trove for fabulous values, particularly from the Monastrell (Mourvedre) grape that loves the chalky terroirs and cool slopes of the Sierra del Molar.”
– ROBERT PARKER
Wine Advocate 92Pts
"This has notes of fresh fruit with a spicy touch and is quite pure, not reflecting heat at all. The palate is juicy, vibrant and tasty, with super fine tannins and a spicy finish. A blend of 20-something plots, this wine reflects the general character of the estate. It has 15% alcohol, reflecting the natural conditions, but with an incredible balance that makes the alcohol feel perfectly integrated. A true bargain in its finest vintage to date."
Jeb Dunnuck 91Pts
"Another smoking value brought in by Eric Solomon, the 2017 Monastrell (there’s 12% Grenache) is a rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured effort that offers a Bandol-like character in its blue fruits, ground pepper, violets, and chocolate aromas and flavors. Aged 10-12 months all in larger foudre, it a ripe, sexy, balanced effort that knocks it out of the park on the value scale. Drink it over the coming 3-4 years." JD
85% Monastrell blended with 10% Syrah and 5% Garnacha
Hearty and meaty dish, from hamburgers and pizza to short ribs, veal, pork, lamb, sausage, game and other meats, especially grilled meats.
Well-trodden paths like Highway 29 in Napa, RN74 in Burgundy or the Mosel River in Germany are obvious vinous routes that have been signposted and gentrified over decades but not Jumilla. Parched, bleak and seemingly barren under the heat of midsummer there are only the faintest hints of civilization, usually in the form of an isolated sign, a decaying old farm house or the random fellow traveler rushing to get out of the sun. Jumilla is about roughing it, about getting to know farmers and their families and if you’re lucky being invited into their homes to share a meal. It’s a place worth getting lost in. If you’ve played your cards right, the person inviting you to Jumilla is José Maria Vicente. José Maria is a third generation owner and operator of Casa Castillo a farm that began as a rosemary plantation but one that has evolved into the preeminent estate in the DO of Jumilla. While the smell of rosemary still lingers in the air, the pale, rocky soils surrounding his house and cellar are now planted with vines and almond orchards. When José Maria’s grandfather purchased Casa Castillo in 1941 there was already a winery, cellar and some scattered vineyards on the property dating to the 1870s, established by French refugees fleeing the plight of phylloxera in their native land. In 1985 José and his father began to replant the vineyards and expand them with the goal of making wine on the property. In 1991 they bottled their first commercial vintage.