Spectrum Fine Wine Auctions

93pt Bierzo for $17.95!!! Raúl Pérez: The Master of Mencia

There are three kinds of winemaking genius. First, the...

Raúl Pérez: The Master of Mencia

Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator
". . .Pérez is constantly issuing a stream of small-production wines, both reds and whites, from not just numerous single vineyards in Bierzo, but also from Ribeira Sacra and half a dozen other regions in Spain—and from Portugal’s Douro zone as well. He’s only 47 years old and he’s already “fathered” nearly 100 different wines over the years.
Simply being Raúl Pérez is a full-time job. Making some of
Spain’s finest and most intriguing reds (and whites too) is just
the byproduct.


Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, Decanter
"There are three kinds of winemaking genius. First, the classicists: those who excel in applying what they have learned from their masters and reaching higher levels of refinement. They are behind the great classic wines. Then, the innovators, who discover or develop new technologies , reveal unknown grape varieties, in ways that are easy replicable. We have them to thank for many new wine styles and regions.
    The third group are those rare geniuses who act upon intuition. One cannot classify their wines; they are simply inimitable, because those wines have somehow encrypted in their tasting profile the unique combination of their terroir's message, along with the personality of their creator. Intuitive geniuses are transmitters of feelings and visions. Raúl Pérez is the archetype of the intuitive winemaking genius."
Raúl Pérez is one of the most exciting winemakers in one of the most exciting wine regions in the world, Bierzo.  As a native of the village of Valtuille de Abajo, Raúl has great respect for his home and has brought great acclaim to many of the largely under-appreciated 80+ year old Mencia vineyards surrounding his village to create some of the greatest value wines in the world. To create these, Pérez uses a variety of techniques, including extended macerations (sometimes 60 days or longer), whole-cluster fermentation and aging wine in partially filled barrels to promote the growth of Flor (used in sherry production), which according to Perez, prevents oxidation and volatile acidity as well as preserving freshness.

Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez is Raúl’s primary winemaking venture. Under this brand falls Ultreia, which is produced from the region of Bierzo, with the reds being Menica-based and the whites being Godello-based. The Ultreia Saint Jacques is the entry level red coming from 80 to 120 year old vines from various vineyards around the village of Valtuille de Abajo. The Ultreia Godello is the entry level white coming from three vineyards in Valtuille de Abajo with the large majority from a north-facing site, which helps preserve the crisp acidity in the wine. The Ultreia is the most elegant and Pinot Noir-like of our offering today and this originates from primarily Mencia-based vineyards in the villages of Valtuille de Abajo and Valdecañada.

La Vizcaína de Vinos is a project focused on producing single-vineyard wines from hillsides around Valtuille de Abajo. The vineyards used for these wines are primarily old-vine field blends planted to Mencia with small amounts of Bastardo (Trousseau), Sousón, Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet), Brancello and Caiño. At one time the Rapolao vineyard(which we are offering today) was thought of as a mediocre vineyard, but is now lauded as one of the greatest plots in the region of Bierzo, largely due to Raúl's efforts and bottlings.

Antoine Graillot & Raúl Pérez Encinas is a special new project in collaboration with the famed Graillot family from Crozes-Hermitage. For this project they are producing Mencia from Bierzo with some Northern Rhône techniques. For the production of this wine, they are using an open-topped cement tank for fermentation, where as most of his other Mencia-based wines are being fermented in oak vats. Encinas has a distinctly 
Rhône quality, with quite a bit of spice and herbs that would likely make you think Northern Rhône Syrah when tasting.

Today, we have the pleasure of offering these five spectacular and high-scoring wines from these three different Raúl Pérez projects.  Get yours now, most of these are highly allocated and will sell out quickly!
 
 
"The clean, floral and 2017 Ultreia Saint Jacques comes mostly from old vineyards from different soils in Valtuille and Villadecanes fermented in stainless steel and oak vats with part of full clusters and matured in used barriques for one year. It's produced in a fresh and very drinkable way. This is one of the best values from Bierzo and Spain, and a great introduction to Bierzo. It's a more serious wine than what the wine was when it was first produced, fresh and elegant. It's very reliable and a great value."
93 Points Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate
Raúl Pérez Bierzo Ultreia 2015
Score: 94W&S
Price: $27.99
"Raúl Pérez crafted this red from a parcel planted mainly to mencía, with some bastardo, garnacha tintorera, doña blanca and palomino in the mix as well. This unusual field blend offers some unusual flavors, with the iodine notes of raw meat and lots of black-pepper spice to the ripe fruit. It tastes like its target is roast suckling pig." 
94 Points Wine & Spirits Magazine
"There is a new white from Godello, as demand is growing, and they sourced the grapes from a vineyard that produced the first 2016 Ultreia Godello. It's a north-facing plot that is very cold, and the grapes, picked at the end of the harvest, were only 12% alcohol. It fermented in 300-liter barrels and one 2,500-liter oak vat. It feels super young and undeveloped, with an austere nose and a very tasty palate with superb acidity." 
93 Points Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate
La Vizcaina Bierzo El Rapolao 2016
Score: 95+WA
Price: $34.95

"The cool and elegant character of the El Rapolao plot seems to have been amplified by the weather conditions in the 2016 La Vizcaína El Rapolao. Pérez does not own all the vineyards, so sourcing can sometimes vary within the same vineyard, and since 2016 it comes from two old plots where the Mencía is mixed with other varieties; the wine seems to have gained in depth and complexity as a result. In 2016 he did a slightly shorter maceration and matured the wine in 500-liter oak barrels for a little over 12 months. The vineyard yields well, and the wine is always expressive, balanced and elegant. It seems like slightly higher yields suit it better, and the wines have good tension and an herbal twist that adds to the complexity and freshness. 5,000 bottles produced." 
95+ Points Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate
Score: 94W&S
Price: $26.99 

"A collaboration between Antoine Graillot from Crozes-Hermitage and Raúl Pérez, this Mencía comes from a range of parcels, with a strong focus in Rapolao, one of Pérez’s star vineyards in the Valtuille de Abajo area. It’s rare for mencía in Bierzo to taste this fresh, with so much energy and tension. There are meat and mineral notes, but it’s mostly just delicious, crunchy red fruit, filling the mouth with freshness. The tannins are youthfully wild, but nothing that game cannot remedy."
94 Points Wine & Spirits
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