El Castro de Valtuille Selección - 2017
Raúl Pérez’s family has been producing wine for generations, since 1752 to be exact, in el Bierzo. His rule-breaking attitude and drive to push the limits has led him to become the most talked-about winemaker in Spain and earned him the award for the world’s top enologist, two years in a row.
His methods include observing every type of soil, studying each plot’s individual micro-climate and obsessively watching the ripening times of every grape variety. When nature speaks, he listens. In doing so, he’s able to get the best expression of his grapes without any additives necessary to transform it into his unique style of beyond natural wines.
This 100% Mencía from very old vines at Raúl’s family winery, Castro Ventosa, in Valtuille de Abajo is specially selected for Auténticos Viñadores, made with the best grapes from vineyards facing the south. After an exhaustive selection process, a very careful fermentation, and brief ageing in large French oak foudres the wine that emerges is the purest expression of the terroir.
Deep cherry red in colour with aromas of ripe red fruit, blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries, with light notes of black olives, violets, balsamic and spices. On the palate, it is fresh, balanced, smooth and round with well-integrated tannins and a long-lasting finish.
This vintage is internationally sold out so get your hands on it quick!
Annual Production: 4000 bottles (Albae Wine Club has access to a limited number of 300 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Smooth & Long
Grape Variety: 100% Mencía
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable - Terroir Driven
Ageing: 3 months in French oak foudres
Winemakers & Viticulturist: Raúl Pérez
Bodega: Auténticos Viñadores
Designation of Origin (DOP): Bierzo
Elevation: 530-630 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 80+ years (cultivated in Valtuille de Abajo)
Soil: sand and slate
- Drink now or keep until 2022
- No decanting necessary, just uncork 15/20 minutes before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Salads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes, Stews, Blue Fish or Meat, Game, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
- Ideal at room temperature and also slightly chilled
The comarca (equivalent to a county in English) of El Bierzo is a privileged area to grow vineyards, with a macro-climate beneficial for viticulture. The low altitude and the humid breezes from the west and the Atlantic prevent late frosts enabling early grape harvest, which keeps freshness and acidity. The average annual temperature is 12 Celsius, with minimums around 3 to 4 Celsius and summer maximums around 24 Celsius. The average annual rainfall is around 700 mm, and the vines receive about 2,200 hours of sunshine per annum.
Harvest & Vinification
The grape bunches are manually harvested and meticulously selected. Naturally fermented in small stainless vats with temperature control for 60 days. Aged for 3 months in large French oak foudres in order to minimize the influence of wood in the wine and allow the grapes to shine through.
Raúl Pérez, the creator of mythical wines like El Pecado and Sketch, is Spain’s most critically acclaimed enologist. His wines are discussed and sought after around the world. Though his name is on everyone’s lips, his wines touch the lips of a privileged few. All of his liquid creations are made in very limited quantities and more often than not are sold out internationally, to the dismay of many.
In recent times, his wines have received raving reviews from the likes of Robert Parker and other influential international critics who describe him as Spain’s most promising enologist, in the present and looking to the future. In Germany at the “2014 Wine Awards”, he received the award for best enologist in the world and is the first Spaniard to achieve this distinction. Again in 2015, he was recognized as the best enologist in the world by the venerable publication, Bettane + Desseauve, at “Le Grand Tasting Shanghai”.
However, Raúl is a humble man and he would never speak of these titles. He is an unconventional rule breaker who is always pushing the limit, and going beyond it. He listens to nature, works with indigenous grape varieties, intervenes as little as possible, and doesn’t filter or stabilize. His wines are pure character and terroir and his style, though ever-evolving, is unmistakable. Raúl is all or nothing, mediocrity and indifference are not in his vocabulary but heart and soul can be found in all of his wines.
Raúl professes his devotion to many indigenous grape varieties, but there is one he holds dear above all others and has mastered like no one else; mencía of el Bierzo, the land where he was born.
This wine is beyond ratings! Raúl Pérez's wines tend to sell out in a hurry so there is no need to submit them for ratings.