I bet most of you didn’t know Jean-Marc Lafage makes wine in Spain too! And his Castano Solanera is a perfect showcase of his talents. A blend of 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Garnacha Tintorera from 40-100 year old, organically farmed vineyards, it captures the warmth and generosity of Southeastern Spain.
2016 Bodegas Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas
93 points Jeb Dunnuck — he lists a suggested retail of $19
I’ve long been a fan of this wine, but I can say with certainty that this is the most successful Solanera ever produced. And the fine folks at Bodegas Castano have been making it since 1999! But it was in 2015 that they enlisted the help of Frenchman Jean-Marc Lafage to help them improve the balance and polish of their red blends. Good call Family Castano!
Jeb Dunnuck and I agree on this one. “The 2016 Solanera is up with the finest vintages I’ve tasted of this cuvée (and I’ve had most of them).” I’ve had most of them too! And our tasting notes are nearly identical. Dunnuck says “it reveals a saturated purple color as well as full-bodied notes of blue fruits, cedarwood, spiced cherries, and peppery herbs. It’s deep, rich, and textured, yet also balanced and beautifully pure. It’s a steal at the price.”
Do I need to go on? No, but you know I’m going to. Because this conversation wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of the Castano family legacy. As Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate says, “For years, Yecla has been a synonym of Castano (or the other way round.” They are the pioneers of the Yecla DO, in Southeastern Spain. Founded in the early 50’s, they built the first modern winery in the region. And most importantly, they helped establish Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) as one of the great grapes of Southern Spain. Today, they continue to make some of the top wines in the region.
And I would argue that this is one of the best wines they’ve ever made. If you’ve liked other bold and silky reds from Lafage, do yourself a favor and snag a solid six-pack. It won’t make “old bones,” but it will delight your palate. Supply is limited, so act fast.
To snag some for yourself, stop by the store, call us at 828.505.8588, or use the contact form below.
Owner/Operator at Table Wine