Widely acknowledged as the leading proponent of Monastrell in Spain, José Maria is not content to just double down on this variety. While the ubiquitous Monastrell is at the heart of his endeavors, he’s always played against expectations in pursuit of the true meaning of his sandy clay and rocky terroir. In the 1990s it was with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah which have been completely (in the case of the Cab) and partially replaced with Garnacha. One look at his soils, in many cases remarkably analogous to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Garnacha seems the obvious choice but one which few in Jumilla has sought to explore apart from José Maria. With more and more Garnacha coming online from the grafting over of his Cabernet and with the planting of young vines, a new expression of Jumilla began to form at Casa Castillo – one that uses older vine Monastrell as its base but enlivened with about 25% Garnacha. Called Vino de Finca, or Estate Wine, this new cuvée was first made in 2015 and shows what a remarkable difference that small amount of Garnacha can make. Of course, it is not just the blend that makes Finca so expressive, but its indigenous fermentation, the inclusion of whole clusters, and a gentle maceration – in 5000L French oak vats and neutral 500L French oak demi-muids.