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Casa Castillo El Molar 2016

Grenache from Jumilla, Spain
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • JS92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

While Garnacha has been grown in Jumilla for centuries it has never been taken quite as seriously as Monstrell and most of it has been blended with other varieties. This seems all the more remarkable considering how closely the terroir of Jumilla resembles that of the Southern Rhone – hot, dry summers and a limestone subsoil topped with gravel. A few years back Jose Maria planted Garnacha in some of his most gravelly soils as an experiment.

Named for the mountain with overshadows his property, El Molar is fermented whole cluster with indigenous yeasts and spends 12 months in neutral 500L French oak demi-muids resulting in a wine that is pale, fresh and aromatic – a promising new directing for the property and the DO.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Always one of my favorite values from Spain, the 2016 El Molar, pure Garnacha from a plot that gives the wine its name, the example from the cooler 2016 showed a little riper than I expected. The vintage was in a way similar to 2013, but the 2016 showed more hints of development, and it might have been going through a closed phase when I tasted it some six months after bottling. The grapes from this sloped and north-facing plot fermented with 30% full clusters and natural yeasts and matured in used barriques for eight to 11 months. If the nose is not as expressive as expected, it's the palate that should guide you through the real character of this wine, juicy and with fine tannins and a dry finish. I tasted from two bottles that showed similar character. I found it a little awkward, and I made a note to try to taste it again the next time I review the region. Quantities are slowly growing as more vines come into production. 51,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2017.
Rating: 91?
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Casa Castillo

Casa Castillo

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Casa Castillo, Jumilla, Spain
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Casa Castillo in the region of Jumilla is a property that has been producing wine since 1874. This tradition continued with a winery built by a French company in 1910 when phylloxera forced them out of their vineyards in France. Jumilla is one of the few places in Spain that has successfully resisted the infestation of phylloxera, hence making it an ideal place for this new winery. Like many Rhone wine merchants, they were interested in Monastrell (Mourvedre) based wine.

The Roch family acquired the property in 1941. Julia Roch and her grandson, José Maria Vicente, have been recovering the artisanal origins of this estate, making significant strides in the integrity and quality of winemaking.

Famous for the robust and earthy, black-fruit dominated, Monastrell (known as Mourvedre in France), Jumilla is an arid and hot region in southeastern Spain. Its vine yields tend to be torturously low but this can create wines of exceptional intensity and flavor. Quality combined with accessible price points give the region great recognition on international markets far and wide.

The reds from Jumilla are heady and spicy, packed with fruit and show aromas of dried licorice and herbs. If you like Syrah, Grenache or Pinot noir, a red wine from Jumilla would be a perfect next choice!

Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

ESLEC6909_2016 Item# 422547