FREE LOCAL DELIVERY & 15% OFF 12 BOTTLES OR MORE OF WINE (NOT ALREADY ON SALE)!
Village: Valtuille de Abajo / Vineyard: Las Villegas / Year of plantation: End of the 19th century / Hectares: 1.7 / Altitude: 580 meters ASL / Soil: Sandy / Orientation: South Southeast / Plant density: 4500 vines / hectare / Varieties: Mostly Mencía with Bastardo (Trousseau), Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet), Godello and Doña Blanca / Elaboration: Harvested at the end of August / beginning of September. Whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts in large, open-top chestnut vat. 60-90 day maceration followed by one year of aging in neutral barrel. Bottled without fining or filtration.
Raúl Pérez Pereira is universally considered to be one of the world’s most visionary winemakers. Since he produced his first vintage for his family’s winery in 1994 at the age 22, he has been in the forefront of the conversation about what has been called “The New Spain”. In 2005, he left his family business to strike out on his own, creating Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez, which quickly became the point of reference for the Bierzo appellation. In the intervening years, he has expanded his sphere of activity to include the appellations of Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Tierra de León, but his heart and his home remain in Valtuille de Abajo, the village in Bierzo where his family has been tending vines for well over 300 years.
In addition to numerous other accolades, Raúl was named “Winemaker of the Year” by German publication Der Feinschmecker in 2014 and “Best Winemaker in the World” for 2015 by the French publication Bettane+Desseauve. In the February 2018 Decanter, Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros wrote, “Raúl Pérez is the archetype of the intuitive winemaking genius.” A picture of Raúl in that same article is captioned, “Is this the best winemaker in the world?” Raúl would certainly not self-apply any of these superlatives. In fact, his genius is far exceeded by his humility and generosity of spirit. That humility comes through in his wines. These are not “winemaker” wines so much as they are unadulterated expressions of the villages and vineyards from which they hail.
"The 2021 Valtuille La Cova de la Raposa comes from the lieu-dit that names the wine, where the soils are rich in sand, and which they have been vinifying separately since 2003. This south-facing vineyard is the first they harvest, as the orientation and the fact that the old vines only produce two to three clusters per vine make them ripen early. They used 40% full clusters for the native fermentation with 40 days of maceration. It matured in two 500-liter oak barrels for 12 months. It has moderate alcohol (12.43%) and ripeness with nice balance, a sleek mouthfeel and very fine tannins. This is a warm place that behaved quite well in the cooler 2021 vintage. The sandy soils are a little more compact, and this is tighter than the more-open 2020. 1,200 bottles were filled in March 2023." Luis Gutierrez