What the Hecula! Monastrell That Is!

I discovered Monastrell a little while ago, and have quickly recognized that it is a great wine and offers some great values. The 2004 Hecula Monastrell is another fine example and comes to us from the Yecla region which is located in Southeastern Spain. The Yecla D.O. resides in the municipality of Yecla North of Jumilla and West of Alicante. The primary grape in this region is the Monastrell grape as it makes up about 85% of zones planted acres. Monastrell incidentally is the Spanish name given to the Mourvedre grape of France.


The largest producer in Yecla and the maker of the Hecula Monastrell is Bodegas Castano who has approximately 300 hectares of Monastrell grapes under vine. Originally conceived in the 1950’s by Ramon Castano Santa, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that the winery really took off with the help of his sons. The families focus is primarily 2 things, quality and the Monastrell grape, combining the two in their commitment to produce superior wines. Castano operates four vineyard sites that pretty much break up the Yecla region nicely into 3 distinct areas. Most of the vineyards are comprised of a lime stone, well drained soil that is low in organic nutrients except for the southern most vineyard of El Espinal that has more of clay based composition.


 The Hecula is of course 100% Monastrell grapes coming from 35 year old vines. After approximately 10 day fermentation the wine is aged in a combination of French and American Oak for 6 months.


My Tasting Notes

Nose – Blueberry, raspberry, cherry and vanilla bean

Taste – Raspberry, basil, green pepper and leather

Mouthfeel – very smooth and round, dry velvety tannins and slightly spicy

Finish – Medium in length and oddly a hint of citrus and black olive (seriously)


This was a very nice wine, especially at the price of $13 dollars. Very approachable, lots of fruit up front with a nice back end lace of herbs and green veggies adding good complexity and depth. At the price, I don’t think you could go wrong picking up a bottle for yourself, and even if it was a few dollars more it would still be a good value.  If you haven’t been drinking Monastrell, keep you eye out for them because they really do offer great value in a versatile red wine.




Categories: $10-$20, wine tasting | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “What the Hecula! Monastrell That Is!

  1. Drayton

    I had some of the 2005 Castano Hecula Monastrell last night in the Toronto area with a meal. It was wonderful. I did not know what it was until after I had consumed it. I would have guessed that it was a bordeaux of some quality. I was surprised to learn that it was a Spanish wine and very inexpensive.

    I intend to buy some for my cellar. How long to you think it would last in a good cellar?

  2. steven Beck

    Actualy, DNA tests have proven that the Monastrell, and the Mourvedre grape of France are not the same.

  3. –From my Blog, Sniff Swirl and Spit on Facebook:

    Bodegas Castaño, “Hecula” Monastrell, Yecla, Spain, 2005
    This is a helluva wine! Monastrell is the Spanish name for Mourvedre. Smoked meat & spice & graphite. Smoky plum and licorice in the mouth with a fruity, chocolate finish. I’ve featured this in the past, and you can bet I’ll be pouring this again!

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