The wines of Raúl Pérez, Bierzo, Spain

Raúl Pérez is one of the key figures in ‘New Spain’. Based in Bierzo in northwest Spain, he first made wines at his family property aged 22. For many years he established the reputation of the region through this bodega, called Castro Ventosa. In 2004 he broke away to do his own thing, under his own name. His focus is on Bierzo, but he’s also included other local subregions in the new project. The winemaking is pretty natural: whole bunch for the reds, and natural ferments for all wines. Elevage is in neutral oak of all sizes. He’s also collaborated with the likes of Dirk Niepoort. Raúl has been a very important figure in this part of Spain, connecting people together and building the reputation of a slightly forgotten corner of the country but one capable of making great wines.

Raúl Pérez Ultreia Godello 2019 Bierzo, Spain
This is from 25 year old vines and spends a year in foudre. Taut and fine with nice balance, showing yellow plum and citrus fruit with some pear and spice with some apple notes. Has generosity but also freshness with a mineral edge. 93/100

Raúl Pérez La Del Vivo La Vizcania de Vinos 2020 Bierzo, Spain
Fine, fresh, bright and stony with a nice mineral edge to the fruit: pear and spice with nice precision. 93/100

Raúl Pérez and Rodrigo Méndez Castro Candaz Finca el Curvado 2018 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Supple, floral and expressive with nice elegant red fruits. Nice volume and texture with a juicy, linear character and a peppery edge. 93/100

Raúl Pérez and Rodrigo Méndez Castro Candaz A Boca do Demo 2018 Ribeiro Sacra, Spain
Some oxidative hints on the nose. Sweetly fruited, nicely spicy and juicy with some tarry hints. Nice weight with some richness and a bit of oak. 92/100

Raúl Pérez Ultreia Saint Jacques 2019 Bierzo, Spain
Supple and floral with nice texture. Has some volume, with rich cherry and plum fruit, as well as some strawberry notes. Nice depth with a bit of structure. 93/100

Raúl Pérez La Vitoriana La Vizcaina de Vinos 2019 Bierzo, Spain
Supple and nicely structured, this has some fine spices and a hint of pepper, as well as lovely red and black fruits. This is expressive and nicely structured with good fruit. 93/100

Raúl Pérez La Gundiñas La Vizcania de Vinos 2019 Bierzo, Spain
Textural and broad with nice sweet, bold cherry and blackberry and plum fruit. There’s nice depth here with sweet cherry and apple notes. Great depth. 94/100

Raúl Pérez La Poulosa La Vizcaina de Vinos 2019 Bierzo, Spain
Floral and fresh with ripe cherry and plum notes. Shows nice depth with lovely spice, cherry and pepper. Grainy with nice raspberry notes and a salty finish. 94/100

Raúl Pérez El Rapalao La Vizcaina de Vinos 2019 Bierzo, Spain
Supple, showing attractive sweet cherry and plum fruit. Fine-grained with sweet cherries and plums, showing nice depth with a lively peppery edge. 94/100

Raúl Pérez Ultreia 2018 Bierzo, Spain
This is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Trousseau and Palomino. 100% stems, 9 months on skins in 5000 litre oak then 5 months in barrel. Aged under flor. Very fine, peppery and expressive with redcurrant, raspberry and cherry. Such finesse and purity with lovely tannins. Bright, expressive and fine. 96/100

Raúl Pérez and Antoine Graillot Ecinas 2019 Bierzo, Spain
Mencia from sandy clay soils, 40 day maceration in concrete, then aged in 5000 litre foudre. Meaty, spicy and expressive with lovely grip. Juicy and firm, and slightly wild and animal. 93/100

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