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Casa Castillo Las Gravas 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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!
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.