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Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille 2014

Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
  • RP96
  • WS90
13.5% ABV
  • W&S92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A blend of mostly Mencia with Bastardo, Garnacha Tintorera, Godello and Dona Blanca.

Harvested at the end of August / beginning of September. Whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts in large, open-top chestnut vat. 60-90 day maceration followed by one year of aging in neutral barrel. Bottled without fining or filtration.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Ultreia de Valtuille was very open and expressive, impressive too, with notes of freshness, blood orange, red cherries and also flowers (violets, lilies) and an earthy touch. It's elegant and complex, with very fine tannins and a velvety sensation. As with all the reds, the oak is unnoticeable, perfectly integrated and folded into the wine. 3,500 bottles were filled in November 2016.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Light, crisp and focused, this lively red delivers cherry, berry, herbal, licorice and smoky flavors that mingle in a lithe frame. Not muscular, but energetic and balanced. Drink now through 2022.
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Bodegas Raul Perez

Bodegas Raul Perez

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Bodegas Raul Perez, Bierzo, Spain
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Raul Perez was born into a winemaking family, Bodegas Castro Ventosa, the largest owner of Mencia plantings in Bierzo. Raul grew up developing his ideals and worked at the family winery until 2003. His reluctance to compromise has made him both controversial and popular.

Bodegas Raul Perez produces extra limited, handcrafted, artisinal wines from varieties such as Albarino, Mencia, Bastardo and Godello from northwestern Spain.

One of the few northwestern Spanish regions with a focus on a red variety, Bierzo, part of Castilla y León, is home to the flowery and fruity Mencia grape. Mencia produces balanced and bright red wines full of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, baking spice, pepper and black licorice. The well-drained soils of Bierzo are slate and granite.

Calling the far western appellations of the Iberian Peninsula home, Mencia was once deemed capable of producing only simple and light red wines. But post-phylloxera, growers restricted plantings of this variety to fertile plains, which naturally led to high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. The recent rediscovery of the ancient, abandoned vines planted on rugged hillsides of deep schist has unveiled the potential of Mencia and added discredit to the old claims. Primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras regions of Spain and in the Dão of Portugal (where it is called Jaen), Mencia is an early ripener and generally low acid grape capable of producing wine with great concentration, complexity and ageability.

In the Glass

The best Mencia possess characters such as raspberry, red currant, boysenberry, pomegranate, black licorice, spice cake, black pepper, Asian spice and crushed gravel. Some styles remain light fruit dominant while in the more serious versions, any significant amount aged in new oak, may add hint of dark chocolate or vanilla.

Food Pairings

Excellent with all manner of meat dishes: Steak au Poivre, corned beef, charcuterie, game, carne asada, etc, Mencia will also work with many vegetarian dishes such as grilled portabello, mushroom risotto, wild rice pilaf and smoked tofu. Mencia will also be a welcome accompaniment to any cheese platter.

Sommelier Secret

Never had Mencia? Well if you like Pinot Noir and other aromatic reds (like Gamay), definitely investigate Mencia. Many affordable options abound as well as higher-end, more complex versions. Often the latter contain other varieties for adding depth and complexity, or come from the extremely old vines.

SKRSRP051_2014 Item# 275657