Casa Castillo - Jumilla 'Pie Franco' 2020


Depending on whom you consult, the Pie Franco from Casa Castillo is considered: the benchmark wine from Jumilla, the best example of Monastrell in Spain or one of Spain’s greatest wines. The Pie Franco comes from the oldest vineyard (about 75 years old) on the property, La Solana. Solana is noted for its sandy soils that are phylloxera resistant but not completely immune and each year a few vines succomb to the disease which combined with the low yields means that there is very little Pie Franco to go around. For many years this cuvée was only available in Europe but recently a small amount has been made available to us. A pre-fermentation maceration proceeds fermentation in stone lagars after which the wine is racked into neutral 500 liter French oak demi-muids where it ages for 16 to 18 months.

"I had tasted the 2020 Pie Franco during its upbringing in barrel and couldn't wait to taste the bottled version. The wine comes from the ungrafted Monastrell vines planted in 1942 by the current generation's grandfather on a south-facing slope rich in limestone and gravels. In this dream vintage, they achieved a wine with 14.5% alcohol, a pH of 3.47 and almost five grams of tartaric acid per liter of wine. The wine matured in 500-liter oak barrels for 16 months. There is precision; it's like laser cut, with symmetry and nuance, and it feels ethereal with lots of inner strength. It has the aromatic herbal notes but they are a lot subtler, and the wine is a lot more elegant and floral. The 2020s are wines of texture, silky, fine and elegant. This is the essence of the Mediterranean. Truly outstanding, world class, the best wine produced in the Mediterranean and the best wine from Casa Castillo ever. I was trying to find reminiscences with previous vintages, and it's different from 2017 and 2018, maybe a mixture of the two, but overall the 2020s are unique and have a combination of Mediterranean character and freshness more intense than any other previous vintage. José María Vicente told me the only vintage that could be compared a little with the 2020 could be 2010. I've seen this wine evolve every year since the initial vintage of 1998 to reach world class. Bravo! 7,800 bottles were filled in February 2022." - 100 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"Pie Franco means ‘on its own roots’ – part of Jumilla’s old vine heritage. This 2020 is surely the best yet – though José María Vicente says the 2021 is looking as though it will prove to be the really great vintage. The vines were planted by Vicente’s grandfather in 1942 on gravel and limestone soils. The oak handling is, as ever, judicious: 16 months in 500L barrels. Very refined, a true Monastrell; long, powerful, but carefully controlled, with very fine tannin. A keeper. Organic" - 98 points, Decanter


Producer: Casa Castillo

Country: Spain

Region: Murcia

Varietal: Monastrell

Appellation: Jumilla

Vintage: 2020

Size: 750ml