Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille 2019
The Ultreia de Valtuille exudes aromas of blackberry, pillory, tobacco, leaf litter and a subtle reminder of apothecary as notes of cocoa. In the mouth, this red wine is structured, drying and very balanced. It is long and persistent, with a very marked ripe fruit that reminds us of the vineyard from which it comes.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Deep, glistening violet. Expansive, spice-tinged black raspberry, cherry cola, licorice and potpourri aromas are complemented by a strong mineral topnote. Youthfully chewy and focused on the palate, offering concentrated yet lively black and blue fruit liqueur, succulent herb and violet pastille flavors and building spiciness. Finishes with repeating floral and dark fruit character, supple, well-knit tannins and outstanding, mineral- and spice-driven tenacity.
I found more character of the wines from slate soils in the 2019 Ultreia Valtuille, but that is because the percentage of Alicante Bouschet is much higher (from the field blend) due to frost. He also did a very soft vinification and with a shorter maceration. There might be some herbal notes here (boiled vegetables) that remind me of a Cabernet Franc. It has some severe tannins. Unusual. With time in bottle, it might change from an ugly duckling and turn into a swan. A bit of a question mark. There are only 2,500 bottles of this unusual vintage. Best After 2023
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.
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. And yet Mencia once suffered from a poor reputation and deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. Post-phylloxera growers would grow this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. Somm Secret—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.