Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Durante Noches de Verano Calientes: Castillo de Feliciana Wines

Hola!  Okay, forgive me for being corny ...

But there is nothing to be corny about when it comes to the wines of Castillo de Feliciana. Dr. Sam and Deborah Castillo and their family's hobby soon became a reality after they purchased 66 acres in the Walla Walla Valley and turning their hobby into a full-time dream. "Un sueno hecho en ralidad" A dream made into reality.  
Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard and Winery are located by the foothills of the Blue Mountains at the Washington/Oregon border.

Their winery design was inspired by the Southern region of Spain named, Andalucia.  This is an area where the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean meets up with the stark white buildings and terracota tile roofs of Los Pueblos Blancos. The winery is named after Deborah's aunt, Feliciana also known as "Aunt Tana."

Deborah's memories of her aunt are several, but most of all she remembers the fragrance wafting from her aunt's purse. It smelled like roses from her face powder, fruity – from the Juicy fruit gum, a little musty because it was old, a little bit of tobacco (although family says she never smoked), and of course it smelled of leather. All of these fragrances would come back to Deborah when she started to drink red wine. 

Castillo de Feliciana  produces Spanish and Latin American-style wines and most important understanding and using grapes that grow well regionally. Their current line-up of wines are: Tempranillo, Malbec, Cabernet-Malbec blends, Pinot Grigio, Albariño,  and a Tempranillo Rosé.

It's hot outside and I am going to concentrate on the wines that are perfect for summer sipping. "Durante noches de verano calientes" - during those hot summer evenings. 
Castillo de Feliciana Albariño - 2011: A week ago on International Albarińo Day we tasted a traditional Albarińo from Spain along with the Albarińo from the winery and while they were a bit different, Castillo de Feliciana's 100% Albarińo was a strong contender.  The nose was of lemon, peaches and apricots. More apricots came through on the palate, more citrus fruits on the mid-palate and ended with notes of pineapple and lemons. Crisp, bright and acidic. Definitely a cheese plate to be paired on the side to accent both - of course the cheese plate must include a sharp and salty Manchego from Spain. 

Castillo de Feliciana Tempranillo Rose' - 2011: Tempranillo is one of my favorite red grapes. This 100% Tempranillo rose' had an 18-hour soak on the skins to produce this sultry shade of pink.  A nose of cherry pie, fresh strawberries, and a hint of lemon jump out of the glass. The wine brings to the palate more strawberry, a hint of rhubarb, and caramel to round out the long finish. Another great summer sipper of a wine to be paired with grilled salmon, strawberry and spinach salad with a balsamic dressing, or even grilled watermelon for dessert with a touch of honey and a sprinkling of pecans.

Deborah's Aunt Tana never had her own children, but her name is dedicated for future generations of wine lovers, including her own family.  Castillo de Feliciana when translated - "Castle of Happiness."  Indeed. 

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