Raúl Pérez Pereira is universally considered to be one of the world’s most visionary winemakers. Since he produced his first vintage for his family’s winery in 1994 at the age 22, he has been in the forefront of the conversation about what has been called “The New Spain”. In 2005, he left his family business to strike out on his own, creating Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez, which quickly became the point of reference for the Bierzo appellation. In the intervening years, he has expanded his sphere of activity to include the appellations of Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Tierra de León, but his heart and his home remain in Valtuille de Abajo, the village in Bierzo where his family has been tending vines for well over 300 years.
In addition to numerous other accolades, Raúl was named “Winemaker of the Year” by German publication Der Feinschmecker in 2014 and “Best Winemaker in the World” for 2015 by the French publication Bettane+Desseauve. In the February 2018 Decanter, Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros wrote, “Raúl Pérez is the archetype of the intuitive winemaking genius.” A picture of Raúl in that same article is captioned, “Is this the best winemaker in the world?” Raúl would certainly not self-apply any of these superlatives. In fact, his genius is far exceeded by his humility and generosity of spirit. That humility comes through in his wines. These are not “winemaker” wines so much as they are unadulterated expressions of the villages and vineyards from which they hail.
Floral, spicy aromas with hints of underbrush. Juicy, well-structured red fruit with great vibrancy and length on the palate. A long finish is marked by hint of herbs, coffee bean, and tomato leaf.
Varieties: Mostly Mencía with Bastardo (Trousseau), Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet)
Elaboration: 80% whole cluster fermentation in large oak vats. Macerations of between two and five months. Aging in various vessels: 225L, 500L, foudre and cement. Bottled without fining or filtration.
This Mencia-dominant blend comes from an organically-farmed plot of old vines rooted in sandy soils. Fruit is whole-cluster fermented, macerated for 60-90 days, and fermented with native yeasts in chestnut barrels. The wine is juicy, earth-driven, and loaded with flavors of cherries, black pepper, damp earth, and sweet spice. Drink now or lay down for a few years.
It has aromas of ripe redcurrant, blackberry and memories of eucalyptus and blood orange. In mouth it is an earthy wine, with a perfect assembly between the tannins of the fruit and the wood. It is a round wine that combines an elegant lightness with a persistent finish of ripe fruit. Elegant and tasty.