- Blend92% Monastrell and 8% Grenache
- WinemakerJose Maria Vicente
- VineyardLas Gravas
- Aging/Cooperage16 months in a combination of 50-5,000L foudres
Casa Castillo Las Gravas Jumilla 2020
Jumilla is a relatively obscure Spanish region despite its long history. Casa Castillo is primed to change that, as they continually make some of the highest quality for value vines in the world. Following a slew of great scores (every Las Gravas since 2012 has scored 94 or higher with Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate), they have exploded with this 98 POINT beauty!
“Considered by many observers to be the finest estate in Jumilla, Casa Castillo is a treasure-trove for fabulous values, particularly from the Monastrell (Mourvedre) grape that loves the chalky terroirs and cool slopes of the Sierra del Molar.” - Robert Parker, Jr.
Yes, indeed. José Maria Vicente is a third-generation owner and operator of Casa Castillo, a farm that began as a rosemary plantation but has evolved into the preeminent estate in the DO of Jumilla. The winery and vineyards came to the Vicente family in 1941, though the estate didn’t begin producing its own label until fifty years later. This is a long-time Wine Advocate favorite, and we absolutely loved the 2015 vintage we offered a few years back. This is ASTOUNDINGLY DELICIOUS at any price – at our best-in-the-states price… you simply HAVE to taste it!
The family’s vineyard holding became certified organic in 2019, but their 2020 vintage is without question the finest they’ve produced since they began over 30 years ago. 92% monastrell (the local name for mourvedre), rounded out with 8% garnacha (grenache) – this is a bold, bright-flavored wine with perfumed and floral aromatics, leading to earthy, resinous notes of pine needles, and dried ceps. The palate abounds with red cherries, chipped rocks, pink peppercorns, and creamy oak sensations. Reminiscent of a highly polished Bandol, there is a vein of purity here where weight and textures are lifted up – creating a full wine that nevertheless floats effortlessly across the palate. Just a monumental effort that needs to be experienced to be believed.
Get in on this producer now while you can. They are already on the rise, and their prices are sure to go the way of top-flight Toros and Riojas before long! A cool $30 off for this 98 POINT stunner? Not to be missed.
About the Producer
Well-trodden paths like Highway 29 in Napa, RN74 in Burgundy or the Mosel River in Germany are obvious vinous routes that have been signposted and gentrified over decades but not Jumilla. Parched, bleak and seemingly barren under the heat of midsummer there are only the faintest hints of civilization, usually in the form of an isolated sign, a decaying old farm house or the random fellow traveler rushing to get out of the sun. Jumilla is about roughing it, about getting to know farmers and their families and if you’re lucky being invited into their homes to share a meal. It’s a place worth getting lost in. If you’ve played your cards right, the person inviting you to Jumilla is José Maria Vicente. 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.