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Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille 2015

Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
  • W&S92
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS90
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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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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Las Villegas, a parcel in Valtuille de Abajo, was planted at the end of the 19th century. It’s mainly mencía, but, according to Raúl Pérez, who makes this wine, it also includes bastardo and garnacha tintorera as well as white grapes such as godello and doña blanca. He coferments them all to produce Ultreia. The tannins are sharp and wild, their grip yielding to black fruit and herbs that leave a pleasant memory. Delicious with roast rack of lamb.
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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 only deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. But post-phylloxera growers only planted this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced 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 its old reputation. 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 ripening, low acid grape that can produce wines of 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 and fruit dominant while the more serious versions, aged in new oak, will be more complex and concentrated.

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.

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.

SRKSRP066_2015 Item# 392933