2013 Casa Castillo "El Molar" Garnacha Jumilla

SKU #1228345 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A new kid on the block, the pure Garnacha 2013 El Molar carries the name of the vineyards where the vines were planted in 2006 on sand and chalk soils covered with gravel. It was foot trodden and fermented in cement vats and aged for nine months in used 500-liter oak barrels. In 2013 the vines worked until the very end as it was a year where there was more rain than average and a relatively cool summer (sometimes ripening occurs because of dehydration rather than true ripening) resulting in a perfect ripeness but quite contained. It is light ruby color, very bright acidity (low pH?) and there’s no indication of alcohol plus the oak is also perfectly integrated. It shows a pinch of spices over the core of red berries along with some spring flowers and perhaps a distant lactic touch. The supple and tasty palate is medium-bodied and has a fluid texture, very fine tannins and good acidity. The well-defined flavors are clean and offer floral notes plus developing notes of orange peel. I think this is the best Molar so far. A real bargain. 93+ Points (LG)  (2/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 ***Good Value*** Village: Jumilla. Vine age: 10 years old. Vineyard aspect: north. Climate: Mediterranean with continental influences. Soil type: gravelly and calcareous-loam. Vineyard size: 9.5 ha. Yield: 2,800 kg/ha. Garnacha planted at 700 m altitude. José Maria Vicente, technical director, comments that, ‘we choose el Molar as a single vineyard due to its altitude and because of its calcareous soils that gives a unique Garnacha profile’. Whole-bunch fermentation in old stone lagar (vat), nine months’ ageing in 500-l used oak. Very ripe and rounded style, juicy, broad and direct. Lots of sweetish sensations but not overripe. It has jammy fruit, toasty aromas and medicinal herbs character. It is still easy to drink despite the high alcohol content. The palate is today more expressive than the nose.  (5/2015)

K&L Notes

Spain does Garnacha (Grenache) as well as anyone. There is a wealth of this grape variety planted throughout the country, and top examples such as this do not necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. With its juicy red cherry fruit and fresh, limestone soil-inflected minerality, this Garnacha is one of our best from either Spain or the Rhône Valley — compare with Châteauneuf-du-Pape (but be sure to lower the price by 50%)!

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Price: $15.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/9/2015 | Send Email
Rich, juicy fruit, dark chocolate hints, some wild herb characters. Full-bodied and saturated with baking spice coming out with air. A lot of wine for the money.

Staff Image By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/16/2015 | Send Email
Wow! Casa Castillo's Garnacha brings a lot to the table at an unbelievable price. The aromas of bright red berries mixed with floral notes are incredibly enticing. The palate confirms gobs of tart cherry and raspberry with plenty of weight. However, despite the alcohol level, this wine never feels out of balance and the tannins are perfectly integrated. Consider me impressed!

Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/13/2015 | Send Email
This is a rich, juicy style of Garnacha, with excellent structure and a pleasant balance of quaffability and integrity. Deep black fruit and plum aromas are punctuated by hints of coffee and chocolate, while ripe tannins and focused acidity fill out the wine beautifully.

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/12/2015 | Send Email
This is Garnacha from Monastrell country, and the hotter climate in Yecla definitely affects the juiciness of this surprisingly serious wine. Notes of baking spice and tea leaf are there, with a roundness of deep berry fruit that is reminiscent of its Mourvèdre neighbors, but El Molar still shows Grenache’s signature peppery finish. A beautiful standout from value favorite Casa Castillo.

Staff Image By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/12/2015 | Send Email
This "El Molar" is my favorite bottling yet from Casa Castillo. All that beautiful ripe, dark Jumilla fruit with a kick of sweet smoke, graphite, black pepper and tea leaf. It's sultry and seductive and will certainly be a difficult bottle to put down.

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/11/2015 | Send Email
This is a powerful Garnacha. Packed with ripe raspberry and wild strawberry fruits, Casa Castillo's Grenache has the kind of fruit intensity and purity, not too mention persistence, that makes professional critics and wine drinkers alike gush with enthusiasm. There are lovely floral notes as well, and subtle barrel notes, which add detail to the picture. All in all, there is a lot to like in this serious wine. If you compare the quality to $40 Chateauneuf-du-Pape with similar scores, I think you'll understand why this wine is bound to disappear so quickly!

Additional Information:



- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Alcohol Content (%): 15