Five O Clock Shadow-Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas

By Fergal Gleeson*
Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas Yecla 2012

chefs.pngThis Spanish wine has a gruffness of character that’s irresistible. I was reminded of Graham Knuttel’s paintings of Chefs. Slit eyes, five o clock shadow, they’re smoking ciggies in the alley between shifts.

Not the sort that they let loose on MasterChef. Cissies crying about Grandma’s artichokes and supporting each other’s emotional needs. These guys have done time. They’ve got big knives.Solanera

Monastrell is the main variety here. Also known as Mataro,
Mourvedre, The Dog Strangler the variety has more alias’s than an MI5 agent.

There are fine examples under it’s different names in Australia and France but Spain is la casa for this grape as it has by far the most Monastrell under vine. The Familia Castano blends Monastrell, Cabernet and Garnacha Tintorera for this wine.

The colour is dark and inky. There’s fruit, plug tobacco and tapenade to taste and a kind of buttermilk sourness runs through it! For a wine packing 14.5% alcohol this has delightful freshness.

This is from Yecla in the hot South East of Spain. Yecla is not a place I’d heard of before I’d bought this bottle. It sounds like an insulting Yiddish word.

He is a lazy putz!

He is a dumb schmuck!

He is a Yecla! Enough already!Yecla

Like a lot of the South of Spain this area produced bulk wine until the 1980s but has recently ramped up quality. Robert Parker gave this wine the sort of points he normally reserves for very expensive Bordeaux and Burgundy so it’s blessed by the Gods!

Drink with confidence as you won’t find a better red for under $25. Don’t be a Yecla – grab a bottle!

Rating: 4.5/5. RRP $25. For more Wine Reviews read and follow  Drink and be merry!

*Finalist New Wine Writer of the Year 2016- WCA Gourmet Traveller WINE

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