Casa Castillo 2012 Las Gravas
70% Monastrell, 15% Garnacha, 15% Syrah| Alc: 14.5% – Big and Bold
Not surprising Las Gravas comes from a profoundly rocky, single vineyard of the same name. You’d also be hard pressed to call it soil since before you can get to anything resembling dirt you have to go through a foot of stones. Here Jose Maia and his father planted Monastrell
Garnacha and Syrah, each of which contribute to the final blend of Las Gravas. While the other cuvees from the estate show the unique expression of site and variety, Las Gravas is a broader lesson in terroir and the varieties that thrive here. Las Gravas is harvested by hand and fermented in underground stone tanks with manual pigeage.
Practicing organic farming.
“A cuvée that has been changing over the years (and getting more focused and Mediterranean, I’d say) the 2012 Las Gravas is a blend of Monastrell with 15% Syrah and 15% Garnacha; the Garnacha vineyards in the state come into production so the winery has more grapes to use. This wine saw a big change with the 2008 vintage, when Cabernet Sauvignon disappeared from the blend and got more focused and true to its birthplace. 2012 could be the finest vintage to date, as there was no 2012 Pie Franco, as quantities were really short and those grapes are in this blend. It starts off with some notes of smoke, toffee, fresh fruit and orange peel in harmony with well-integrated oak and a stony profile that develops more and more notes of esparto grass with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied, with some polished, very fine tannins and a good mid-palate that is very balanced and fresh (I saw a note of pomegranate, is it the Garnacha?). It is a serious, very young wine with ripe flavors that make it very tasty. This is clearly riper than the 2013s and shows the character of the vintage quite transparently. The price is a dream come true. Super! 26,500 bottles.
2013 is a great vintage for Casa Castillo. While 2012 was very dry with some rain during the harvest, for José María Vicente it’s still better than 2011 but clearly below 2010 and 2013 which he favors as his best recent vintages. I agree completely. Talking to him he was quite disappointed with the Jumilla appellation and some decision to allow five-liter bag-in-box for appellation wines and might take his single-vineyard wines out of the appellation. Not only great, but very affordable wines.” 94 Points – The Wine Advocate
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