The Castel property is centred on an old colonial stud farm built outside Meknes in the 1920s. The French-Moroccan partnership, started in the early nineties, hasn’t changed the nature of the original setting except by adding a few functional buildings to the rear, and a relaxed atmosphere belies a highly organised and professional enterprise within.

The operation comprises five estates, covering the AOC Guerrouane and Beni M’Tir appellations, most of which are at an altitude of over 600 metres, giving a prolonged growing season. Methods here are distinctly French and the emphasis is on producing clean modern wines for export markets.

Castel's wines

  • **

    Castel Domaine de Sahari Gris

    Grapes: Cincault, Grenache Blanc

    Pale onion skin. Light intensity on the nose. Sweet apple, candied fruits, strawberry. Medium depth palate but a little light on flavour. Spritzy acidity. Fair wine, but not very interesting.

  • **

    Castel Domaine de Sahari Réserve White

    Grapes: 100% Grenache Blanc

    Pale straw. Fresh, medium intensity nose. Cox apple, white plum and citrus. Rich palate, savoury nut characters, baked apple. Medium acidity. Not bad, but lacking freshness and a little oily on the finish.

  • **½

    Castel Domaine de Sahari Cabernet Merlot

    Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

    Clear medium red. Pronounced nose. Simple warm red fruits, cinnamon and green pepper. Medium bodied palate, but tannins a bit too grippy now, though they should mellow. Green pepper characters over simple blueberry fruit. Short finish.

  • **½

    Castel Domaine Larroque Gris

    Very pale salmon pink. Muted nose. Simple blossom and light herb over berries. Chunky palate, though has acidity to cope. Simple strawberry fruit style. Fair quaffing wine.

  • **½

    Castel Domaine Larroque White

    Medium yellow, gold tints. Fresh nose. Nectarine & lemon. Savoury nut hints beneath white stone fruits and baked apple on the palate. Reasonable length, but quite an oily finish. A little too warm.

  • ***

    Castel Domaine Mayole Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah

    Deep red, purple hue. Restrained nose, hinting at depth. Black cherry, blackcurrant and spice on the nose. Chunky, pleasing palate. Blackcurrant, red pepper and roasted nut. Grippy tannins with viscosity to match. Interesting wine.

  • ***½

    Castel l’Excellence de Bonnassia Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

    Deep red to purple. Generous nose. Raspberry and plums over red meat. Fleshy palate, fresh plum jam, currant and green pepper. Cool, viscous and grippy, but tannins yet to soften. A well made, interesting wine.

  • *½

    Castel Halana Merlot

    Pale cherry red. Medium intensity nose. Raspberry jam and tar. Hot, medium bodied, palate. Light overboiled strawberry jam. Tannins a little bitter. Sugary length. A little clumsy.

  • **

    Castel Halana Syrah

    Deep red. Medium intensity nose. Simple plum jam style. Hot palate. Sweetish body. Medium tannins. Low acidity. Boiled cherry, some spice. Simple.