Grape(s): 65% Monastrell (Mouvedre), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Granacha (Alicante Bouschet)
Localization: Yecla, Spain
Tasting Notes: Beautiful, with lots of cassis, blackberry, graphite, camphor, and acacia flower notes on the nose, the 2017 Vinas Viejas hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, elegant texture, ripe tannins, and a gorgeous finish.
Food pairing: Pairs well with beef, heavy pasta, and veal
The Domain: Ramón Castaño Santa, founder of Bodegas Castaño, started making his first wines in bulk back in 1950. A pioneer in the use of the Monastrell grape, he extended the family heritage with the purchase of new vineyard sites. With the gradual incorporation of their three children, Ramón, Juan Pedro and Daniel Castaño, the true innovation started and with it, the expansion to international markets.
The bodega consists of two winemaking cellars fully equipped with stainless steel tanks with correct maceration process and controlled temperatures. An underground oak barrel ageing cellar with temperature and humidity control, and a warehouse with the appropriate light and conditions to provide the wine bottles with their final rest before their release to the world round out its production facilities.
The poor limestone soils are the natural scenery of the dry-farmed Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera, but they also grow foreign red varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot and, in a lesser quantity, white grape varietals as Macabeo and Chardonnay, which have become perfectly adapted to these conditions.
The beginning of the harvest takes place with the reception of the beautifully ripen white grape varieties, followed with the ealier red grapes during the month of September. The end of harvest is always marked by Monastrell, the one with the longest vegetal cycle, that takes its dueful time to mature.
The harvest process is fully manual, which helps achieve an optimum state of the grapes when received in the winery and thus, a better quality for the wines.