92 pts - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez)
This has notes of fresh fruit with a spicy touch and is quite pure. The palate is juicy, vibrant and tasty, with super fine tannins and a spicy finish. This wine reflects the general character of the estate. It has 15% alcohol, reflecting the natural conditions, but with an incredible balance that makes the alcohol feel perfectly integrated. A true bargain in its finest vintage to date.
VARIETY: Monastrell, Garnacha
AGE OF VINES: 5-50
FARMING: Certified organic (CAERM)
SOIL: sandy clay
ALTITUDE: 750 meters
FERMENTATION: Hand harvested, natural yeast fermentation in tank, gentle maceration
AGING: 8-9 months in neutral 500L French oak barrels, concrete tanks and foudre
A good way to get a feel for the quality of a producer in Burgundy is to taste their Bourgogne Rouge and one gets the feeling that Jose Maria feels the same way. The Jumilla from Casa Castillo is made from younger vines sourced mainly from La Valle vineyard. In any given vintage, 8-15% of the blend includes Syrah and Garnacha. After a natural fermentation in tank the wine is aged for 8-9 months in neutral 500 liter French oak barrels, concrete tanks or foudre.
José Maria is a third generation owner and operator of Casa Castillo a farm that began as a rosemary plantation but one that has evolved into the preeminent estate in the DO of Jumilla. While the smell of rosemary still lingers in the air, the pale, rocky soils surrounding his house and cellar are now planted with vines and almond orchards. When José Maria’s grandfather purchased Casa Castillo in 1941 there was already a winery, cellar and some scattered vineyards on the property dating to the 1870s, established by French refugees fleeing the plight of phylloxera in their native land. In 1985 José and his father began to replant the vineyards and expand them with the goal of making wine on the property. In 1991 they bottled their first commercial vintage.
Everything is harvested by hand and brought promptly to the cellar for sorting and fermentation. Fermentations are in stainless steel tanks or concrete vats. Pigeage is done by foot and whole clusters are increasingly used – up to 50% in the Pie Franco. Aging follows in concrete, foudre and 500L French oak demi-muids.