Saturday, February 26, 2011
Castillo de Feliciana Is A Trip To Spain In Walla Walla
This week I met my friend Rich Funk at Saviah and talked about some amazing plans that he has to share later this spring. I picked up some of his newest releases, and then, rather than heading straight home decided to take a different fork in the road.
Past Waters Winery and VaPiano, and after taking a right at the fork, I came to Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard and Winery. A cute little Spanish hacienda, located down a short gravel drive with views of the Blue Mountains, Seven Hills Vineyards, and most of the Walla Walla valley.
As I entered the winery I was met by the youthful and entrancingly blue eyed tasting room manager Katie Regnier. It was cold outside, but her excitement to open a few bottles for me, and the great wines had me thinking of warmer climates.
Castillo de Feliciana is one of Walla Walla’s newest wineries. Owned by Sam and Deborah Castillo, the winery is located on a 66 acre estate that is surrounded by fantastic vineyards of world renown. The tasting room itself offers a nice Spanish theme, with beautiful art that Deborah herself has hand-picked.
The Castillos opened their winery with the hopes of offering fine wines in the Spanish varietals. This being the northwest, there has been some issues with reaching those offerings, but the Sueno (dream) will become a reality with time and patience. They planted true Spanish Albarino vines this past year, and at this point they are looking good in the ground.
I caught Katie on a quiet day, where we could talk and taste through the wines. I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to visit wineries during this time of year when the tourist season is off. It is so much fun, and you feel like you own the whole region.
Anyway, Katie poured the 2008 Viognier for me to start. Mixed with 19% Roussanne, the wine has wonderful floral aromatics to start. Melon and baked bread open up to a nice mouthful of peach and other stone fruit, with a lightly acidic finish. I picked this one up to share with my wife before bed.
Katie then poured me the flagship 2008 Temperanillo. This wine is made from 100% Rosebud Vineyard Temperanillo grapes. The wine opens on the nose with a bouquet of violets and desert sage. The flavors are deep and rich, with red currants, and espresso. The finish is long, with soft acidity and supple tannins.
Next I tasted the 2008 Miercoles. This wine is made up of 55% Syrah, 27% Malbec, 9% Temperanillo, and 9% Merlot, with the juice being sourced from Pepper Bridge, Rosebud, Airport Ranch, and Les Collines. The flavors and nose are black cherry, plum, coffee, and cocoa. There are further layers of baking spices on the long finish.
Last, Katie poured me the 2008 Adentro. This wine is a Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Malbec, and 5% Cab Franc. It offers up a nose and flavors of herbs and spices on the front, with vanilla, tea, and tobacco on the mid palate. The wine finishes very nice with a distinct minerality from the perfectly blended Cab Franc. Very nice.
I hope you’ll take the time to venture to the southern reaches of Walla Walla. When you do, I suggest you stop in and taste the Spanish influence offered by Castillo de Feliciana.