Casa Castillo El Molar 2019
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 AcclaimAll Vintages
The Garnacha bottling from 2019, the 2019 El Molar, was produced with the grapes from three plots of vines planted on gravel and sandy soils covered with tosca stones planted in 2004, 2006 and 2010. 2019 was marked by torrential rains on September 13th that changed everything, but the Garnacha (and the Syrah) were harvested before the rain, so this wine is from a "normal" Mediterranean vintage. Fifty percent full clusters were used for the native fermentation in underground stone pools with a short maceration. It matured in 500-liter oak barrels and 5,000-liter oak vats for 12 months. It's a little lower in alcohol but shows ripeness (without excess), but the core is floral, perfumed and elegant. The tannins are very fine-grained with the essence of the limestone soils, that chalky quality of the texture. Very impressive for a 2019. 26,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2020. Best after 2022.
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 thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.