…this winery manages to produce rich red wines with wonderful fresh flavours and vitality. Not to mention nourishment, mystery and drinkability. Tasty stuff that feels very real. I’ll be drinking lots of this.

Billy Munnelly, of Billy’s Best Bottles, recently offered this commentary, a perfect description of our featured Wine of the Week. I can’t think of a better way to introduce you to the magic of a very special family winery.

It is unusual to come across a winery who can sincerely lay claim to having put an entire wine region and style on the international map. However, in a quiet and sleepy corner of southeastern Spain, we come across Bodegas Castano – a winery who has done just that!

With the introduction of wines whose quality could support prices double or triple what they’re charging, the Castano family has electrified wine lovers around the globe with the introduction of some of the world’s best value wines. As the producers of the #2 selling Spanish wine in Ontario, Bodegas Castano has a track record of making wines that people in Ontario love!

So, it’s with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm that I introduce you to a new product today from the Castano family of wines – the 2006 Pozuelo Reserva.

Tune into the video edition of our Wine of the Week:

The 2006 Bodegas Castano Pozuelo Reserva is a fascinating wine that brings together the best of old and new; it’s a blend built around the local indigenous grape (Monastrell), but also includes familiar favourites like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. It is available at LCBO Vintages shops across Ontario now and is a wine you can enjoy today, and for years to come.

Click Here to find this wine at an LCBO Vintaes shop near you.

Three things to know about how the grapes for this wine were grown: 

#1:  The grapes for this wine come very old vines in the Castano family vineyards, ranging between 40 and 60 years old. These old vines yield fewer grapes than younger vines, but this is a classic quality vs. quantity dynamic; the grapes from old vines are riper, more flavourful and offer superior complexity to the fruit taken from younger vines.

#2:  These vineyards are “dry-farmed” meaning that no manual irrigation takes place. Dry-farming produces better wine because the grapes harvested from these vineyards have less access to water and therefore offer more concentrated and complex flavours and aromas.

#3:  While this portion of southeastern Spain is a pretty hot part of the world, the slightly higher altitude of the Castano family vineyards allows for a climate where we see a significant shift in temperature between day and night. This produces wines with superior balance, acidity and structure than wines grown at lower altitudes.

Three things to know about how this wine was made:

#1:  Like many wines grown in the south of France, perhaps most notably in the southern Rhone Valley (i.e. Cotes du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, etc), this wine is a blend of several different red grape varieties. The resulting wine exhibits balance and complexity that is difficult to attain with single varietal wines.

#2:  This wine was aged in American oak barrels for 24 months prior to bottling. This process contributes complexity and richness to the wines, aswell as allowing for the better integration of the various varietal components.

#3:  Fermentation of the wine takes place in small and medium sized tanks, allowing for the careful blending of small lots of wine. This artisanal approach to vinification allows the winemaker to achieve the perfect balance and aromatic qualities in each wine.

Tasting Notes:

“Castano is located in the blazing heat of the south of Spain but this winery manages to produce rich red wines with wonderful fresh flavours and vitality. Not to mention nourishment, mystery and drinkability. Tasty stuff that feels very real. I’ll be drinking lots of this. Yes, it’s from the same winery as La Casona, the $8  bargain at regular LCBOs.”

Billy Munnelly – Billy’s Best Bottles 

“Monastrell, aka Mourvèdre, is the star here, comprising 70% the blend with 10% each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot making up the balance. Aromas of smoke, licorice and herbs intermingle with rich dark fruits. The palate is dry, medium bodied and nicely structured, with great balance. More rich fruit throughout, with good tannins working to create quite a pretty, round and soft-styled wine. Pair it with bison burgers, or ribs in a zesty sauce.”

LCBO Vintages Tasting Panel

Food Pairings:

The Bodegas Castano Pozuelo Reserva is a wonderful alternative to wines like Cotes du Rhone or Chateauneuf du Pape. This wine is a natural choice with anything off the grill – from steaks, to burgers, to grilled veggies or lamb chops. You can also enjoy this wine with red sauced pastas, firm cheeses and or lasagna. It is a balanced and giving red that is drinkable now, and can stand to age another 12-18 months in the cellar.

Andrew Hanna is a third generation wine importer and Director of Sales & Marketing at John Hanna & Sons Ltd., one of Canada’s oldest independent wine merchants. He spends his days scouring the earth for handcrafted wines that tell a story about the people and places in each bottle, while sharing these delicious discoveries with wine lovers across Canada.


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