Elaboration of 2006 Casa Castillo Pie Franco
2006 Casa Castillo Pie Franco (Monastrell)
- View: beautiful wine intense cherry color with violet edges.
- Nose: Intense aroma of mineral, new wood, spices, fruit compote.
- Mouth: Mouth Median body, has a right acidity, tannins, powerful strokes. Final slightly sweet.
VINEYARDS: Casa Castillo.
AGING: Aged 14 months in French oak barrels.
GRAPES: 100% Monastrell.
CONSUME: Best served 17-18 ºC. perfect accompaniment to red meat and all kinds of game.
How to serve
In 1941 is when Don Jose Sanchez-Cerezo acquires the property Casa Castillo for the use of rosemary bush. The farm was situated a warehouse built by the French in 1870.More about the Winery
The 2006 Pie Franco is a monumental wine. Pure un-grafted 70-year-old Monastrell aged in 500-liter foudres for 22 months. It has the complexity of a bottle-aged wine, some gameness, smoky, notes of cured meats, iron, blood, paprika and leather, with elegant rusticity. Medium-bodied palate, laced texture, pure, clean, delineated. A wine that shows the true elegance Monastrell is capable of, and in my opinion one of the great red wines from Spain. It seems to have reached a plateau where all elements are balanced but will probably have a very long and slow evolution. It seems to be the perfect moment to drink this wine, but I’m sure it will last. 14.5% alcohol. Drink 2013-2023. Casa Castillo is the leading producer of southeastern Spain, and their pure, un-grafted Monastrell Pie Franco is one of the greatest wines from Spain. Jose Maria Vicente is the third generation associated with the bodega, and is in charge of the winery today. The property was purchased in 1941 by his grandfather who was in the wood and esparto grass (jute) business. There were vineyards and other cultivars, but only as a side business. It was Vicente’s father Nemesio who in 1991 fermented and bottled the first Casa Castillo wine, so their wine history is still quite short. The property is quite big, over 400 hectares, and besides the 170 hectares of vineyards (70% Monastrell, 15% Syrah and 15% Garnacha), there are also almond and olive trees. All the vineyards are strictly dry-farmed. The Mediterranean-influenced continental climate has very cold winters with low temperatures often below zero and dry, hot summers, often reaching 40ºC. Average rainfall is 350 liters, concentrated in April-May and October-November and they have 3,000 hours of sun per year. The soil is varied, mainly clay with an active lime level of 15-19%, covered with gravel and sand. These conditions, typical in Jumilla, call for low density in planting, with 1,600 vines per hectare. The yields are low, which explains why, with so much land under vine, they can only produce 400,000 bottles per year. La Solana is their oldest vineyard, which was planted in 1942: 12 hectares grown on glacis, a very fine sediment from the nearby mountains, with the texture of sand, the kind of soil where phyloxera struggles to live. The vines are un-grafted, planted at a very low density, since this is one of the few vineyards where we have southern exposure, and is therefore hotter and drier than the others. The vines are very slowly being attacked by phyloxera so the vineyard is dying and will eventually disappear. In the areas where there’s more clay the insect can still survive. The vineyard yields 600 kilograms of grapes per hectare, which results in 6,000 to 8,000 bottles, depending on the conditions of the vintage. The grapes for the Pie Franco are destemmed but not crushed, and fermented in 6,000-liter underground stone lagares (pools) with wild yeast using only manual cap punching. As with all their wines, it ages in 500-liter oak barrels. I’ve learned a lot from Pie Franco and how the wine has aged from the initial 1998 vintage. If there is a great vineyard, the terroir will reveal itself sooner or later. There was a big change in style of all the wines they produce with the 2005, looking for balance, elegance and drinkability, and they have not looked back since. All the wines reviewed here are whole-cluster fermented with their wild yeast. Pie Franco is a limited-production wine of around 7,000-9,000 bottles and was not traditionally available on many markets, and not so well known. I had the chance to taste a mini-vertical of four vintages, which should be still available, even if in small quantities. Sandy soils give finesse but might lack power; that’s not what I found here, where the balance between power and elegance is fantastic, perhaps because of the very old (planted in 1942) un-grafted Monastrell vines that have never been irrigated.View more