Bodegas Castano Hecula 2015
The 2015 Hecula shows an intense and shiny cherry red color. On the nose, it blooms pleasant ripe red fruit aromas, sweet spices. It has very elegant and integrated wooden notes that do not cover its intense fruitiness. It is well-balanced, fresh, with elegant soft tannins and a good acidity. Long and very well structured.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2015 Hécula is pure old-vine Monastrell from dry-farmed, head-pruned vineyards on limestone soils within their Las Gruesas and Pozuelo estates in the higher part of the Yecla appellation. Different plots are fermented differently, and the wine aged for an average of six months in barrique. Stylistically, this is somewhere between the floral Monastrell and the more classic Casa Carmela, revamped, with a new image and with a cleaner nose and even some shy flowers. It's higher pitched than the more tarry Casa Carmela (even if I'm comparing different vintages) but not as much as the Monastrell and with less extraction and tannins than in the past. The palate is polished with some fine-grained tannins. 144,000 bottles produced.
Created by Ramon Castano Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castano is not nearly as old as the vines it owns. Starting quite small, the family has nurtured these old plantings and re-planted other parcels and now owns 350 hectares of some of the prime vineyard land in Yecla. Today, Daniel Castano, one of Ramon's sons, runs the winery with the help of other members of the family.
The extremely talented Mariano Lopez has taken over the winemaker reins at the Bodega, and has turned the focus toward more balanced bottlings of older vine Monastrell. Both traditional and carbonic maceration techniques are used and all wines pass through malolactic fermentation. Daniel believes that the fruit and tannin structure of the Monastrell varietal stands up well to the use of oak, and as such, many of the wines pass (in varying degrees) through a barrel regime.
Known for its bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy red wines, Spain is truly a one-of-a-kind wine-producing nation. A great majority of the country is hot, arid and drought-ridden, and since irrigation has only been recently introduced and (controversially) accepted, viticulture has sustained—and flourished—only through a great understanding of Spain’s particular conditions. Large spacing between vines allows each enough resources to survive and as a result, the country has the most acreage under vine compared to any other country, but is usually third in production.
Most planted and respected is Tempranillo, the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Priorat specializes in bold red blends, Jumilla has gained global recognition for its single varietal Monastrell and Utiel-Requena has garnered recent attention for its reds made of Bobal.