Monday, October 29, 2007

2003 Castano Solanera

The wine of this week, or rather last week (I'm running behind) is pictured at the right: $9.95 from Costco, it is a blend of 65% Monastrell and 35% Cabernet, from old vines in the Yecla region in Southern Spain.

This was a dark, nearly opaque wine. Initially there were aromas of creamy oak and cherries, with hints of chocolate and cinnamon. On the first night, the palate was mainly sourish cherries and a prominent mineral component which fell off midway and left nothing but a harsh alcohol aftertaste. This is a 90 point Parker wine???

I put away the rest, after spraying Private Preserve in the bottle. The next two nights were much better. The sour cherry aspect disappeared, replaced by a smoother black fruit character still mixed with prominent minerals, joined by a meaty, olive character. Tannins were smooth.

The aftertaste also improved - the alcoholic burn subsided and instead the meaty/olive nature of the wine is what lingered for a while. What started out on the 1st night not tasting too good turned into a pretty decent wine, well worth the $9.95. It has plenty of life left in it but it needs air time to allow the sour cherry character to dissipate. After it does, you are left with a nicely integrated blend of fruit, minerals and meats, nice and smooth. Two thumbs up on this one.

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