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Raul Perez Ultreia Bierzo Godello La Claudina 2018

$66.99

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Full bodied, expressive, and round in style.
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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 95
"Raul Pérez thinks 2018 is the best year he has seen in his 25 years of making wines in Bierzo, calling it the year of Balance. The whites are superb, even the 2018 Ultreia La Claudina, where there's always a little more ripeness from the sandy soil. They have used only barrels, and in 2018 40% of the oak was new, but in the future there will be a 1,000-liter oak foudre for this. The élevage is longer—17 to 18 months—and the wine develops more. The barrels are never topped up, so it's a little more oxidative. And in this vintage, there is some creaminess (perhaps the high percentage of new oak), with a showier profile, peachy juiciness, more volume and a spicy twist a little à la Jura, but more Meursault than Puligny. It's more expressive, rounder and juicier, less radical than some of the earlier years, spicy and with notes of fennel."

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Godello

  • Vintage

    2018

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Biodynamic

  • Style

    Earthy , Fruity , Spicy

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Light Bodied