93pts Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Solanera is up with the finest vintages I’ve tasted of this cuvée (and I’ve had most of them). A blend of 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Grenache, all from more limestone and higher elevation soils (and the Monastrell vines are 70 years old), it reveals a saturated purple color as well as full-bodied notes of blue fruits, cedarwood, spiced cherries, and peppery herbs. It’s deep, rich, and textured, yet also balanced and beautifully pure. It’s a steal at the price.
At the foot of Monte Arabi, the Castaño family tends some of the oldestvines planted in the sun drenched DO of Yecla. Under the supervisionof Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, Solanera is a blend of Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tintorera which is aged inoak for 10 months. Richly flavored with dark fruit and spices, Solaneracaptures the warmth and generosity of this rural part of Spain.
Blend: 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Tintorera