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Raul Perez Ultreia Saint Jacques Bierzo Tinto 2019

$21.99
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Mostly Mencia with a little Trousseau and Alicante Bouchet, this is master winemaker Raul Perez's fresh, everyday table red. But it's not basic at all! 80% whole clusters add savory and earthy notes to the very elegant red and black fruits.

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Few people have changed the landscape of a wine-producing country the way Raúl Perez has for Spain. From his inaugural vintages in the mid-90s up to the present, he has been a catalyst for the New Spain movement that has revolutionized the way we think about Spanish wine.

He started off at his family's estate, in a corner of the relatively obscure region of Bierzo. Within just a few years he realized that his enological training was important, but not as important as responding to natural cues and his own intuition. He's been touted Spain's best winemaker many times over, and many regard him as one of the world's best — full stop.

Though he's a passionate and highly trained winemaker, he paradoxically wants his impression on the wine to be as minimal as possible. He aims to highlight purity of fruit, as well as the unique terroir of wherever he happens to be — which could be just about anywhere. He's a man constantly on the move, either tending to his own vines, purchasing fruit from like-minded growers or advising his acolytes.

Though he has put down roots all over world, there's no abandoning his hometown of Valtuille de Abajo, and arguably his most ambitious project is intricately tied to Raúl's home turf. Following the Burgundian model, each site is vinified separately in pursuit of pinpointing the difference made to the wine by changes in elevation, soil type, exposure and more. The wines are all Mencía-heavy, but other varieties, mostly Bastardo, or Trousseau, and Garnacha Tintorera, or Alicante Bouschet, though a few plots feature some white varieties in addition.

Professional Reviews

Robert Parker

RP 94
"The nose of the 2019 Ultreia Saint Jacques is nothing short of spectacular. It shows the varietal character and the juicy and round style of the Valtuille vineyards. It's harmonious, clean and expressive. They are using more and more stems with long macerations, malolactic in tanks and aging in 30% oak vats (he purchased from Alión) and 70% of the wine in used 225-liter oak barrels for one year. There is only one master blend, which is put into oak vats and bottled by 25,000- to 30,000-bottle lots. In 2019 he produced 110,000 bottles of this wine." -Robert Parker

What importer Skurnik Wines has to say about this wine...

Village: Valtuille de Abajo
Vineyard: Various
Year of plantation: 1900-1940
Hectares: 5
Soil: Clay
Varieties: Mostly Mencía with Bastardo (Trousseau), Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet)
Elaboration: 80% whole cluster fermentation in large oak vats. Macerations of between two and five months. Aging in various vessels: 225L, 500L, foudre and cement. Bottled without fining or filtration.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Mencia , Red Blend

  • Vintage

    2019

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Style

    Elegant , Fruity , Minerally

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied

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