Bierzo Tinto 'Ultreia St. Jacques' Raul Perez 2016
This wine comes from a small (3.2 hectare) vineyard originally planted in 1889. Raul’s intent here is to showcase the fresh, vivid side of the Mencia grape. After hand-harvesting the organic grapes, the best bunches are fermented in large, 5,000 liter vats (foudres) of neutral oak. 100% of the clusters are kept whole (with stems.) Pigeage, or punching down, is done once a day until fermentation is complete. The wine then macerates post fermentation for 70 days!!! (12-15 is more “normal”). Upon completion of fermentation, the wine is transferred to 1,500 liter vats. (About 7 times the size of a normal wine barrel).
The result of these painstaking efforts is an incredibly complex wine that pleases both the senses and the intellect. Perhaps that is the greatest triumph of Raul – his ability to craft wines that appeal to every wine lover. You can simply pop the cork and enjoy the wine for its vibrant fruit and textural suppleness. Or you can geek out and seek to discover every nuance of fruit – raspberry, brambleberry, boysenberry, black cherry, etc - along with the subtle earth notes of black tea, fresh herbs, coffee, etc.