Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Bodegas Castano 2011 Hecula (Spain)
Yesterday morning I had a brief meeting with Daniel Castano, part of the Castano family that owns Bodegas Castano in Yecla, Spain. The meeting was to get re-acquainted with the La Casona and Hecula brands and meet the family behind these bargain wines (under $9 and $12 respectively) ... I was then handed a bottle of the 2011 Hecula, a wine coming to the Ontario market in May (currently the delicious 2009 is on shelves). This wine comes from 60-80 year old "Old Vines" of Monastrell ... and fans of old vines wines know that kind of age really makes a difference in the glass. I was glad to be able to taste this wine in the comfort of my own home and with a meal of my choosing, because this wine deserves some food to pair with it. I went with a Spaniard-inspired chicken (some ingredients Daniel suggested). Plus, wine always tastes better in the company of the winemaker - or by extension, the owner or a family member of the winery ... just saying, so to get some real perspective on a bottle it's best to bring it to a neutral location. So here I am with dinner in the oven and I pop the cork on the new Hecula (a wine I enjoy and have great respect for; it's also a wine I have in my cellar I have bottles that date back to 2003). I open the bottle and pour it into a nice big red glass, but there's something about the wine that didn't seem quite right to me ... I could smell red and black fruits, and the wine had some nice spice and hints of woodiness and a mocha finish ... but that woodiness kept growing - not something you expect from a wine that spent only 6 months in French and American oak. As the wine sat in the glass the woodsy-like flavours continued to the point where it muted the fruit flavours of the wine and also managed to take over the aromas as well - it was then that I realized the bottle was ever so slightly corked (cork does not get better, over time and with exposure to air gets worse). That's really to bad, because the wine had so much promise and I still believe the 2011 is going to be another great value from Spain and in particular the Castano family. I guess at some point another bottle will be in order.
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