92 points Luis Gutiérrez (Wine Advocate): "[$18 list] The 2015 Solanera used to wear the ultimate Spanglish label, which said "Viñas Viejas of Monastrell" even if it was always a blend (in this vintage, the blend includes 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Garnacha Tintorera). 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. Drink: 2018-2021. (Dec 2017)"
Producer notes: "At the foot of Monte Arabi, the Castaño family tends some of the oldestvines planted in the sun drenched DO of Yecla. Under the supervision of Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, Solanera is a blend of Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tintorera which is aged in oak for 10 months. Richly flavored with dark fruit and spices, Solanera captures the warmth and generosity of this rural part of Spain."
|Varietal||Other Red Blends|
|Blend||65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Garnacha|