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These are truly special times.  The ‘fruits’ from a number of epic harvests are hitting the market en masse, and, thanks to that, we have been, and will continue to be offering one of the best lineups in our history…maybe the best.  As we contemplate the magnitude of what is coming in this fall, we also consistently make the point that such plentitude is fleeting.  It’s thrilling to know how much good stuff is here, but it isn’t always like this.

So, we never stop looking out for the rare, amazing deal.  These can come at any time, from anywhere, and we have turned more than our share of these over the years.  But frankly, given what is currently on the table, it has to be pretty spectacular opportunity to get our attention.  This one is.

It all starts with Eric Solomon, a consistent source for some of the best wine deals on the planet and his massive portfolio of wines.  Simply put, when you are trying to market some 300+ wines in the marketplace and transitioning through various configurations of purveyors to accommodate distribution of so many brands, there are times a wine or two can get lost in the shuffle.  Hey, it’s nobody’s fault.  But opportunities get created all the same and, when the wine is already a pretty sensational value with a long-proven track record, an aggressive deal can make the offer almost laughable.  That is what we are dealing with concerning today’s offer on the Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas 2013. 

Over the years a lot of Solanera has passed through our doors.  Why wouldn’t it?  You’ve got Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha from 40-100-year-old vines in clay/limestone soils at nearly 3000 feet elevation.  It’s ‘always sunny’ in Yecla, and the altitude keeps everything in perspective as the nights cool to preserve the acidity.  You get a rich, substantial, character-filled red year in and year out and, because the real estate isn’t as famous here in southeastern Spain, you don’t pay a lot of money for the quality of juice you are getting.  It is no wonder that we have sold so much Solanera in our history.

Robert Parker himself, prior to his semi-retirement, was pretty enthusiastic here again, dropping a ‘92’ on this one with extended commentary, “… this blend is 70% Monastrell, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 % Grenache, aged 10 months in French and American oak… The Solanera, which comes from relatively high-altitude limestone soils at 900 meters, has a dense purple color, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and blackberry fruit mixed with crushed chalk, a full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, density and richness. The oak is well concealed by the lavish fruit–the wine just amazing. Drink it over the next 2-3 years, as these powerhouses are best consumed in their exuberant and extroverted youth.”
There are a couple of points where we dare to take issue with Advocate.  While we have been long time supporters of Castano’s wines, and Solanera in particular, there have been versions that have flirted with over-ripeness.  Not this one!  This has all of the amplitude you could want but the richness never seems overdone.
Also, Parker makes the point that they should be consumed in their ‘extroverted youth’.  This particular beauty seems like it is just getting into a very nice groove at age five.
Though we certainly don't question his choosing Solanera as one of his top 3 valued reds during his entire year of tastings in 2015:
Simply put, this is the best Solanera we have ever tasted.  This particular rendition delivers uncommon value at it’s typical $16 price point.  But thanks to what we like to refer to as ‘market mechanics’, we are rolling out this juicy mouthful for under $10…while it lasts that is.
This has to be in contention for what may be the finest $10 bottle of red wine (that wasn’t supposed to be $10) we’ve sold in our history! Salud!
Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas 2013
 

 

92 Points! 2013 Solanera is a “Vinas Viejas” that differs from the Castano (100% Monastrell), as this blend is 70% Monastrell, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 % Grenache, aged 10 months in French and American oak. Another difference from the Hecula is that it was aged equal parts in tank and the other half in French oak. The Solanera, which comes from relatively high-altitude limestone soils at 900 meters, has a dense purple color, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and blackberry fruit mixed with crushed chalk, a full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, density and richness. The oak is well concealed by the lavish fruit–the wine just amazing. Drink it over the next 2-3 years, as these powerhouses are best consumed in their exuberant and extroverted youth. - Robert Parker, eRobertParker.com
ONLY $16

$9.98

 

 

 

 

 

 

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