Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2020
This is a wine made from younger vines on the property ranging in age from 30–60 years old, all of which are located in Campo Arriba. Here the soils are high in limestone and the elevation ensure plenty of freshness in the finished wines. The Monastrell is harvested by hand, fermented semi-carbonically with 25-30% whole clusters in stainless steel tanks with a short maceration and aged in concrete for 4-6 months before bottling.
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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.
The Yecla DO sits between Jumilla and Alicante, near the Mediterranean coast of southeastern Spain and was granted official DO status in 1975. While once just a farming town, and later known as a furniture-making center, more recently, it is gaining notoriety for its red wine production.
A slow revolution in winemaking technology in Yecla since the 1980s, pioneered by small private wineries and cooperatives, has improved the quality of the region's red wines. The number of vineyards registered with the Regulatory Council is presently at about 6,000 hectares, and is still gradually increasing, a good indication that local producers are focused on quality. There are no official subregions, but the Campo Arriba district is well-known for producing grapes with more intensity and extract.
While Yecla produces a variety of wine styles, most are red wines based on single-varietal Monastrell or blends with other approved varieties such as Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Yecla is already proving great export potential with about 95% of its production sold outside Spain, in over 40 countries worldwide.
Full of ripe fruit, and robust, earthy goodness, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, where it still goes by the name Monastrell or Mataro. It is better associated however, with the Red Blends of the Rhône, namely Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Mourvèdre shines on its own in Bandol and is popular both as a single varietal wine in blends in the New World regions of Australia, California and Washington. Somm Secret—While Mourvèdre has been in California for many years, it didn’t gain momentum until the 1980s when a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley finally began to renew a focus on it.