Mourvedre Monday #8: Castaño Monastrell 2007 Rosado

A recent post over at Benito’s Wine Reviews got me thinking about rosé. I need a reminder every once in a while. Almost every time I drink one, I think, “Why don’t I drink this more often?” Then I go back to my reds and whites. So, as I was contemplating what to pull from the cellar for this week’s Mourvedre Monday post, I thought of this rosé (or, more properly, rosado – though they use the term rosé on the back label). I’ve been on the hunt for the red Monastrell from Castaño, which has been recommended to me by several folks following Mourvedre Mondays. I haven’t found it yet in my local shops, but I did come across their rosé, which is how this ended up in my cellar to begin with. I haven’t done a rosé yet in this series, so it seemed like good timing. Let’s check it out.

Producer: Bodegas Castaño – a major producer in Yecla, owning about 10% of the vineyard land in the DO

Grapes: 90% Monastrell, 10% Garnacha

Appellation: Yecla (DO, Spain)

Vineyards: Limestone soils. 25-30 year old vines.

Vintage: 2007

Winemaking: Stainless steel aging (based on 08 info; no info on website about 07)

Alcohol: 13%

Price: Around $10

My tasting notes: The color is quite red for a nominally pink wine. Kinda like the color of red wine in TV sitcoms. (You ever notice that?) It smells like it’s going to be a sweet wine — kind of a burnt sugary thing — but with some good juicy strawberry and raspberry aromas. Also some Slim Jim on the nose (Oh Yeeeeah!). Good weight in the mouth and some strawberry and apple skin notes, but some slightly oxidized flavors as well. Pretty awkward overall.

Overall impression: Not an especially pleasurable beverage. You can do way better than this. C-

Free association: The kind of rosé an undiscerning Stormtrooper might order.

Photo credit: Greg Easton Photography (via Flickr). Be sure to check out the whole Adventures in Stormtrooping series and his other toy collections (prepare to lose an hour or two of your life!).

More info:

Imported by Eric Solomon.

Reviews at CellarTracker (avg: 81) and another at Chicago Vines Society, who liked it more than me.

6 comments to Mourvedre Monday #8: Castaño Monastrell 2007 Rosado

  • Man, that’s disappointing, and there’s a bunch of great Spanish pinks out there. The regular red Castaño is great, though!

    Also, despite having been born in 1976 and a huge Star Wars fan my entire childhood, I was an adult before I learned that Stormtroopers were people, not robots. I’ll agree to a two-month suspension of my geek credentials.

  • Hi Jim,
    I love your idea to declare 2010 the year of the Mourvèdre. It’s true that Mourvèdre is one the less known of the finest grape in the world. And not only in USA but also in Europe or in Asia.
    I’m a lucky consultant in viticulture and enology working in Spain (I already did a comment on your blog concerning the wines of Ribeira Sacra), but I grew in the South of France and I know quite well the wines from Bandol. The philosophy there (for the majority) is quite special. They don’t search to be fashion with new oak, neither big extractions. Their goal is to produce a wine with Mourvèdre with good capacity of aging. Because the Mourvèdre is not a sexy grape like Syrah for example which can give huge sensation in its youth. The personality of Mourvèdre come with the aging, after 4-5 years (depending of the vintage), and it can give extraordinary wines after 10-20 years.
    For me, the best ones are domaine de Tempier (they have also 3 very special wines made each one from a special plot: La tourtine, Cabassaou y la Migoua), château de Pibarnon, château Vannières, domaine le Galantin, domaine Lafran-Veyrolles, château Pradeaux, …
    You have to know that this grape comes from the south of Spain, the Levante area, it mean the triangle formed by Alicante, Jumilla y Valencia. It’s the majority grape of the Denomination of Origen (like AOC in France) Yecla, Jumilla, Alicante and sometimes of DO Bullas or Valencia.
    I am working with a winery in Alicante, BODEGAS SIERRA SALINAS ( owned by the Castaño family ( where we have a lot of old vines of Mourvèdre in a lovely valley of organically poor limestone soils, at 700 m of altitude. We make 4 wines: Mo Salinas, an easy wine with 85% of Monastrell (the spanish word for Mourvèdre) and 4 months of aging in french oak barrels, Puerto Salinas, a more serious wine with 65-80% of Monastrell, 10-20% of Cabernet-Sauvignon and 10-20% of Alicante Bouschet (garnacha tintorera in Spain), aging of 12 months in french oak barrels (30-40% of new oak), Mira Salinas, where we search the finest and fresher expression of Monastrell, thinking in a long time aging in bottle, and we have Salinas 1237 (the mountain – sierra in spain – culminates at 1237 m of altitude, from there the name of the wine) which is a potent mediterranean wine with a majority of Alicante Bouschet and a complement of Cabernet-Sauvignon and Monastrell.
    These wines are distributed in USA by Eric Solomon, European Cellars
    You should taste also the red wines of Yecla from the Castaño family, for me the best produced in this area. Since the “simple” Castaño Monastrell, to the well known Hecula, the more ambitious Castaño colección or the more confidential Casa Cisca. Personally, I love the Castaño colección, a very attractive wine with a soft price.
    It’s normal that the rosado 2007 was a “little bit oxidized” like you mentioned. The harvest actually in the market is the 2009 and those wines doesn’t have the ambition to age more than 1 year.
    With the 2009 vintage, we did in Sierra Salinas a special cuvee of a rose wine (just 11.000 bottles), named Mo rosé, from Mourvèdre, Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet-Sauvignon, but I don’t know if it will be commercialized in USA.
    In USA, you can also find nice examples with Tablas Creek, but also Jade Mountain, Old Telegram, Cline Cellars ancient vines mourvèdre (you tasted few times ago “small berry mourvèdre”), Garretson mourvèdre \la garotsa\ paso robles, Ridge mataro (an other name of the mourvèdre) pato vineyard ATP 2002 or 2003, Alban vineyard forsythe, all from California, McRea mourvèdre red mountain in washington state.
    In Australia, you can find also a few producers than use Mourvèdre like Torbreck in the Pict or Hewitson old garden mourvèdre or baby bush Mourvèdre.
    Sorry to be so long, but it’s true that Mourvèdre-Monastrell-Mataro is a great unknown fine grape and each time I heard someone talking about it, I feel like to join the discussion.
    Enjoy those great wines of Mourvèdre and I hope your initiative will make the Mourvèdre more popular.

    Dominique ROUJOU DE BOUBEE
    Twitter droujoudb

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Benito – Still on the hunt for the red.

    I can understand the Stormtrooper confusion, though this should have been a tip off:

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Thanks, Dominique, for all the great info. I definitely plan to include more Bandol throughout the year (just did the Gros’Noré last week), so I’ll be on the lookout for your suggestions.

    The lineup from Sierra Salinas looks very intriguing! I hope I can find them – I’d love to include them in the series as well.

    I’ve been looking for the Castaño red Monastrell locally, but haven’t found it yet. I may have to order online. You’re right to point out the age of the rosado (07). I was just excited to have found a Castaño Monastrell of any sort to include, that I wasn’t thinking about the vintage. If I find an 08 or 09 I’ll give it another try.

    I’m definitely planning to include several of the USA and Australian producers you mention. There are several I still need to acquire, but I’ve got the Hewitson Old Garden 05 in cellar, so look for a post on it soon.

    Again, thanks for all the great info. I hope you’ll come back and comment some more on this series.


  • Hi Jim,
    I’ve never tasted Hewitson old garden, just know it for fame (there’s not so famous monastrell wines in Australia). I’m impatient to read your comment.

  • I’m seeking forward to reading a lot more of this.

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