Castillo de Baron Monastrell is an explosion of fresh, ripe red and black fruit, with a warm Mediterranean spicy/earthy twist. On the palate, the wine is soft and fruity, and very well-framed by crisp natural acidity. The finish is clean, harmonious, and more-ish.
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The large bodega behind ”Castillo del Baron” is fast establishing a reputation as one of the best sources for quality wines at competitive prices in Spain, if not Europe, or even the whole World. Robert Parker in particular heaps repeated praise on the wines here, describing them as among the world’s greatest wine bargains. The technology is modern and the scale large, but the
operation remains family-owned and run. It is perhaps for this reason that the wines have a little something extra about them - call it character or even a ’soul’ - that distinguishes them from the competition.
Yecla (which also happens to be the centre of the Spanish furniture industry) is a previously unfamiliar name that wine buyers are going to hear more and more often, not least because Parker has shone such a bright spotlight on the D.O. The nearby Costa Blanca holiday resorts are well-known to tourists the world over, and quickly conjure up images of sun and warmth, but perhaps not of high quality wine. This is now changing. What distinguishes Yecla from other hot-country vineyard areas are the elevated altitudes...in the 50km drive from the coast to the town of Yecla, one climbs 700m up to a high plateau, where cooling breezes (and excellent
stony limestone soils) offer the potential to make something far superior to ’vin ordinaire’. The investment and will behind Castillo del Baron have ensured that this potential is finally being realised.
Also key to the quality of the Castillo del Baron wines is the choice of grape variety - Monastrell. Known around the world by its French name, Mourvedre, this ancient variety is believed to have its roots right here in South Eastern Spain. Indeed, there is a village not far from Yecla called Murviedro. In Southern France, especially in the Rhone, Provence and the Roussillon, the variety is now an essential component in every serious blend, as well as being the principal variety for the Bandol and Collioure appellations. Monastrell/Mourvedre is perhaps the grape variety best suited to warmer Mediterranean climates, because it is a late ripener which preserves acidity, giving freshness and life to the resultant wines.