Wonderful energy and clarity on the nose, the Vizcaina El Rapolao has a sense of bright, floral exuberance backed up by vivid red fruits, wild berries, rocky spices and fresh purple flowers. From a total of 1.5 hectares split across two parcels, one planted in the 1920s and the other in 1980. The older parcel is predominantly hard clay and stones, while the younger parcel has looser, more organic soils and they blend to create a wine of fine minerality and salinity, with silken fruit and style. The elevation averages 550m and the exposition moves from north to west. Fermented with 100% whole clusters in traditional wooden vats. Compared to the rest of the La Vizcaina range, El Rapolao sees slightly a shorter skin contact, generally between 30-45 days, and ages for 12 months purely in 500L barrels rather than 225L barrique, yielding a wine of medium body, cool elegance and wonderful persistence.
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 sheltered them 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.
La Vizcaína treasures the 'grand cru' of Bierzo, four parcels from the hillsides around his home of Vatuille de Abajo are predominantly Menica with a sprinkling of other local varieties. The oldest of these sites was planted in 1890, and the others aren't far behind. Unmissable unadulterated expressions of vineyards and place.