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Casa Castillo, Vino de Finca 2018

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93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2018 Vino de Finca is a blend of Monastrell with 25% Garnacha from a cooler, more continental vintage. The Monastrell is from 20- to 30-year-old vines, and the 8-year-old Garnacha is from limestone-rich soils. It fermented in the underground stone pools with 25% to 30% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in 5,000-liter foudres and 500-liter barrels for 12 months. As all the Garnacha plots are now in production, there has been a higher percentage of it in the blend since 2017. The selection of plots used for this wine results in something more serious, more austere and with more depth than the entry-level Casa Castillo. He doesn't use Syrah in this blend because he thinks without Syrah it has a more Mediterranean profile, with aromatic herbs, thyme, rosemary and lavender and the slightly more rustic notes of the Monastrell. 53,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2019."

Vinous Reverie Notes
Widely acknowledged as the leading proponent of Monastrell in Spain, José Maria is not content to just double down on this variety. While the ubiquitous Monastrell is at the heart of his endeavors, he’s always played against expectations in pursuit of the true meaning of his sandy clay and rocky terroir. In the 1990s it was with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah which have been completely (in the case of the Cab) and partially replaced with Garnacha. One look at his soils, in many cases remarkably analogous to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Garnacha seems the obvious choice but one which few in Jumilla has sought to explore apart from José Maria. With more and more Garnacha coming online from the grafting over of his Cabernet and with the planting of young vines, a new expression of Jumilla began to form at Casa Castillo – one that uses older vine Monastrell as its base but enlivened with about 5% Garnacha. Called Vino de Finca, or Estate Wine, this new cuvée was first made in 2015 and shows what a remarkable difference that small amount of Garnacha can make. Of course it is not just the blend that makes Finca so expressive, but its indigenous fermentation, inclusion of whole clusters, and a gentle maceration – all in 1200L French oak vats.


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