2015 Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas....$13.99
Another project between Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, the 2015 Solanera Vinas Viejas is fresh and lively, with ripe, sexy notes of blueberry and blackberry fruits intermixed with more subtle notes of violets, graphite and white pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and gorgeous purity of fruit, it’s another terrific vintage for this cuvée that’s ideal for drinking over the coming 2-4 years. The blend is 2014 is 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Garnacha, all aged 10 months in 80% French and 20% American oak.
Rated 92/100 Jeb Dunnuck
The revamped 2015 has a completely different label that only keeps the "viñas viejas" moniker. In this wine, from the joint venture with U.S. importer Eric Solomon that started in 1999, they used part of full clusters and sourced the grapes from Casa Marta, a nine-hectare, head-pruned, dry-farmed plot on very stony soils in the north of Yecla at the foot of the Mount Arabí. It fermented in concrete vats and open-top barrels and matured in barrique, each variety separately, for some ten months, after which it was blended and bottled. This is the vintage of the big change in this wine, where, as with the majority of its siblings, there is better balance and more integrated oak, more freshness and better balance. The nose is quite captivating, especially after some time in the glass, when it starts developing some floral aromas, perfect ripeness, no warmth or alcohol and a powerful, yet terribly balanced palate with concentration and elegance, fine-grained tannins and clean, focused flavors. This is my favorite Solanera to date. 60,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2017.
Rated 92/100 Wine Advocate