2019 Raul Pérez Castro Ventosa Valtuille La Vitoriana
Castro Ventosa is one of the oldest domains in Bierzo. This is the family domain of Spain's most famous oenologist Raul Pérez. Very nice range with pure wines, from a basic Joven to the topper Valtuille. The essence of Mencia. The 2019 Castro Ventosa Valtuille La Vitoriana is the second vintage of this top wine. The Mencia in the Vitoriana is fermented in a 1,000 liter oak barrel and matured in a 500 liter oak barrel. The ratio of oak to wine in this 2nd vintage is even better than the 1st vintage and provides more elegance and feels more harmonious, fresher and less concentrated. The extremely old vines with low yields tend to ripen quickly, so you have a short time to pick the grapes. This finished with 13.4% alcohol and has a medium body with fine, chalky tannins. Very impressive wine of which only 620 bottles have been produced. This is a wine with Burgundy allure of the best kind. 97/100 Parker. Parker ends his review with: "...Really impressive"
ABOUT CASTRO VENTOSA BY RAUL PEREZ
The oldest document found about the purchase of a vineyard from Castro Ventosa dates back to 1752. As with many viticulteurs in Spain, it was almost always sold to the local cooperative. It is only since the early 90's that the domain itself started making and bottling wines. The youngest generation in particular has played a major role in this. The entire Pérez family participates in the domain, but it is without doubt oenologist Raúl Pérez who has put this domain on the map. It is at the heart of the revaluation of the grape variety typical of this region: Mencía; not just for Castro Ventosa, but for the entire appellation. For a number of years, however, in addition to the family domain, he has also entered into a collaboration with like-minded people and he also makes his own wines in various appellations. Meanwhile, Raúl is one of Spain's most famous winemakers and his wines have acquired a true cult status. In the meantime, Castro Ventosa has also adapted the range to the new wine legislation and makes more parcelary wines. Their brand “Valtuille” (the village name) can now also be used by other winegrowers to represent the origin of their wines.
The grape variety in this region is Mencía. Castro Ventosa, together with Descendientes de J.Palacios, is mainly responsible for the revival of the use of this grape. After all, in the 1990s, Tempranillo, Cabernet and the like were also planted here. However, it was these two domains that devoted themselves completely to the Mencía and especially to making top wines with this variety. Mencía gives very good results when working with low yields and harvesting at optimum ripeness. Harvested too early, this grape produces green wines (hence the link that was made for years with the Cabernet Franc); this link has since become obsolete – the two grape varieties are not related to each other, but harvesting too late or overripe does not leave any acids left. After all, Mencía already has little acidity by nature. So balance and thorough work in the vineyard are crucial.
Castro Ventosa owns about 60 ha of Mencía, exclusively vieilles vignes between 30 and 60 years old.
Castro Ventosa is located in Valtuille de Abajo, a small village in the lower part of the Bierzo region, with mainly sandy and clay soils. Bierzo itself has a microclimate with milder temperatures than the surrounding regions (León, Galicia). In the plain, this advantage is further enhanced. The name of the domain comes from the Roman settlement (Castro). This is a hill overlooking the surrounding plain at the foot of the village. The bodega itself is carved into the flank of this Roman hill and the majority of their vineyards are located on the flanks of the Castro. The wines are named after this. Their top wine, the Valtuille, comes from 10 plots of very poor and sandy soils and a small part of slate soils. The vineyards for the Castro de Valtuille are clay-sandy soils and partly stony soils. The vines for the Joven mainly grow on clay-loam soils. About 4000 to 5000 vines per hectare are planted in the old vineyards.
Raúl Pérez is without a doubt the most mediatic winemaker in all of Spain today. However, his wines are almost impossible to find! Everyone talks about it, but few have already tasted them. Raúl is present in numerous appellations and regions, not only in Spain, but also in South Africa, Portugal, South America.
We have been following Raúl since 2000; at that time he was still working as an oenologist at the Castro Ventosa family estate in Valtuille de Abajo. He also worked as an oenologist-consultant for other domains in Bierzo. He refined the Mencia to unprecedented heights, also helped Ricardo and Alvaro Palacios start their top domain, while constantly tasting and trying other wines from around the world. Raúl is a restless nature and his curiosity and passion take him further and further.
Between 2005 and 2007 he left the family domain and left for a wine odyssey. In a few years he made a name for himself and became a real 'star' in the wine world. The common thread in his work is the recovery of vieilles vignes from indigenous grape varieties and the making of authentic wines with a lot of character and personality. Or to put it in his own words, "I'd rather make an undrinkably bad Galician wine, but at least let it be a Galician wine." He has therefore already vinified dozens of wines in countless different regions (mostly in the northwest of Spain, and also beyond), but which have never been marketed. He tests, he tries, and often fails. Of course, this way of working brings him a lot of experience, with which he will later be able to get the most out of one grape variety or one region.
Today he makes or contributes to more than 80 wines. In the end, he more or less settled himself by renovating two of his own mini-bodegas: one in the Tierra de León region, in the village of Valdevimbre, and another in his native Bierzo, where he is in the village of Salas de los Barrios. own Ultreia's, the absolute essence of Mencía. Raúl always works organically and as pure as possible. It uses the minimum of SO2. The wines we get from him are always in minimal quantities and we hardly ever know what we are going to get, from what year and how much ... That is Raúl in all.
|Type of Wine
|Castilla y Leon
|Drinking as of
|Earthy, Complex, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Red fruit, Tannines, Full
|Indruk maken, Lekker luxe, Open haard, Romantisch