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2017 Casa Castillo ‘El Molar’ (Garnacha)


2017 Casa Castillo ‘El Molar’ (Garnacha)

On Sale: $19.94  (was: $24.94)*

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Casa Castillo is one of the leading lights of this under-appreciated region in southeastern Spain. In addition to producing Pie Franco, “one of the greatest wines from Spain” (Wine Advocate), their whole lineup is actually a “treasure-trove for fabulous values”, and it's hard to believe this 94pt ‘El Molar’ Garnacha could really be under 20 bucks.

Of course, Jumillia isn’t a marquee region (not yet anyhow), so perhaps more surprising than the value is that Casa Castillo was able to produce such an elegant, red fruited Garnacha in the warm, dry Mediterranean climate. A Garnacha that “feels like a wine from a cool year, with plenty bright red fruit”, this has that refreshing complexity that makes it a joy to drink with or without food, and is clearly one of the best vintages for Casa Castillo to date.

Jose Maria Vicente is the third generation of the family to run this estate, though his father only started bottling and selling wine in 1991. They went through some understandable stylistic shifts at first, but more recent vintages have shown how successfully they have dialed in their approach to this incredible terroir. The chalky, limestone-rich vineyards and old vine Garnacha and Monastrell are all the raw materials the family needs to produce pretty world-class wine, and everything is dry farmed and manually harvested. These wines speak clearly of their origins, and given the price, El Molar is one to grab by the case. Cheers!

94 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There is a high-pitched red fruit note on the nose of the 2017 El Molar, and it's a wine with a lot of light, something that is quite remarkable for a warm and Mediterranean year like 2017. This is a Garnacha that feels like a wine from a cool year, with plenty bright red fruit. I tasted it two weeks after it was bottled, and it felt completely harmonious and relaxed. As with most of the 2017s, this seems like the finest vintage for this wine. It has a lighter color and a more fragrant nose, and it’s immediately identifiable within the Casa Castillo range." - Luis Gutierrez

93 points, Vinous: "Aromas of raspberry liqueur, succulent flowers and baking spices; a hint of dusty minerals emerges with air. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering pliant red fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors that turn livelier with aeration. Closes long and smooth, with lingering floral character and supple, well-knit tannins. Drinking window 2021-2027" - Josh Raynolds

*Offer publication date January 7, 2022. Pricing and availability subject to change.