The most complex and complete of the Bierzo wines, with aromatic diversity encapsulating both sweet and spicy, with notes of black cherry, star anise, graphite and earth. Forest fruit. Fine-grained, sandy tannins and a more profound, velvety mouthfeel. A higher proportion of Bastardo naturally present in the vineyard yields wonderful aromatics married to a sultry, soulful texture which comes from its full south exposition and low yielding vines. Sandy topsoil atop hard limestone makes this both a low yielding and early ripening site. The plot is called Las Villegas in the village of Valtuille del Abajo. 3-4 months of skin contact before pressing in January and ageing in neutral barrels for a year. One of the great Bierzo wines.
Raúl Pérez - an extraordinary force in the world of Spanish wine. His honest approach to reviving old-fashioned techniques and varieties has created a collective culture and, alongside his generous open-door policy, he has helped establish many of the terrior-focused producers in Spain today.
The varietal diversity of North-West Spain is due to the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route for many centuries. The monks who made this journey would often bring cuttings of vines from their homes, offering them as gifts to the monasteries who gave them shelter along the way. Mencia is the dominant varietal (and the one allowed by the DO) but it is common to find Palomino, Dona Blanca, Godello, Malvasía, Bastardo (Trousseau), Sousón, Alicante Bouschet, Brancellao and Caiño.
Raúl has a dizzying amount of collaborations and projects scattered throughout this corner of Spain, we are focusing on two from his home of Bierzo - Ultriea and La Vizcaína.
Ultreia is Raúl's most well-known collections, focused on the Bierzo region and there is a whole lot of wine for the price. His signature whole cluster ferments and long maceration (he considers 50 days to be short) give complexity to even the most youthful of his wines.