Camino del Norte
El Tesón - 2016
Never before has El Tesón left its homeland of Spain...until now! With a precious 2300 bottles produced each year, of which we have access to 200, it's a real treat to be able to share it with club members.
Camino del Norte Vinos is a private wine project in El Bierzo, by Luis Miguel Fernández and the world-renowned enologist Raúl Pérez. Though he would never bring it up, Raúl was voted best enologist in the world...TWICE. We thought it was worth mentioning.
Raúl and Luis Miguel believe in total creative freedom when it comes to winemaking, and for that reason, they decided against registering with any regulatory body or DO. Raúl’s wines are very personal; tied to the land, nature, and traditional winemaking methods which allow the vines, earth, and grapes to shine through.
El Tesón (the tenacious one) is named after the small plot of 100-year-old indigenous Mencía vines, from which the grapes come. El Tesón is cherry red in colour with violet edging. Aromas of black truffle, fine cacao, fresh herbs and rich fruit. In the mouth, it is fresh, balanced, long and complex, with delicate floral notes and an elegant lasting finish. As with any wine full of so much care, you have to try it to truly appreciate its beauty.
Annual Production: 2,300 bottles (ALBAE Wine Club has access to a limited number of 200 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Smooth & Long
Grape Variety: Coupage of 90% Mencía and 10% Pinot Noir
Viticulture / Farming: Sustainable Farming - Terroir Driven
Ageing: 16 months in French oak barrels
Winemaker: Raúl Pérez
Bodega: Camino del Norte
Region: Bierzo, northwest of the province of León
Designation of Origin (DO): No DO
Climate: Mild, continental, wide valley with cooling breezes that bring some humidity from the Atlantic, protected from the arid climate from the east
Vineyard: El Tesón, plot between Valtuille and Cacabelos, planted on head training (bush vine pruning) on the slopes of the high valley of the Sil river
Elevation: Between 600 and 700 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: Over 90 years old
Soils: The mountain slopes soil consists mainly of fine elements of slate and quartz, slightly acidic and low in carbonates
- Drink now or keep for up to 12 years
- Recommended decanting about 20 min before serving, or at least open the bottle 30 min before serving
- Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, cold cuts, Paté and spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes, Meat, Stews or any rice-based mediterranean or asian dishes, not too spiced
- Ideal at room temperature and also slightly chilled
The comarca (equivalent to 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.
The grapes are handpicked, each plot and grape variety is picked up early at its right ripening cycle and vinified separately, fermented in large oak open-top barrels with the stems, indigenous yeasts and minimum intervention.
Raúl Pérez is a very creative winemaker. Oenologist and deep connoisseur of each one of the vineyards and plots he works with. He takes Nature very seriously, exerting minimum influence over the grapes.
From a family with long years of tradition in viticulture and winemaking in El Bierzo, born in the town of Valtuille de Abajo, just southwest of the capital of the region, Ponferrada.
His consulting work as oenologist and winemaker is extensive and highly appreciated all over Spain as well as other countries.
In 2014 he received in Germany the Wine Awards as the World's best oenologist, the first time a Spanish oenologist got this award. In 2015 he was awarded again Best Oenologist in "Le Grand Tasting Shanghai", organized by Bettane & Desseauve, international wine expert publication.
For an extended information about Raúl, please click here for a well documented article from Spanish Wine Lover publication.
Also this link will take you to Raúl Pérez own Website.
Ratings & Reviews
92 Points - Luis Gutiérrez (The Wine Advocate)
Luis Gutiérrez review:
This matured in barrique for one year before it was bottled . It's perfumed, open, expressive and clean, mixing spicy notes with flowers, wild berries and herbs.
The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and good freshness and intensity.