Raúl Pérez – an extraordinary force in the world of Spanish wine. His honest approach to reviving old-fashioned techniques and varieties has created a collective culture and, alongside his generous open-door policy, he has helped establish many of the terrior-focused producers in Spain today.
The varietal diversity of North-West Spain is due to the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route for many centuries. The monks who made this journey would often bring cuttings of vines from their homes, offering them as gifts to the monasteries who gave them shelter along the way. Mencia is the dominant varietal (and the one allowed by the DO) but it is common to find Palomino, Dona Blanca, Godello, Malvasía, Bastardo (Trousseau), Sousón, Alicante Bouschet, Brancellao and Caiño.
Ultreia is Raúl's most well-known collections, focused on the Bierzo region and there is a whole lot of wine for the price. His signature whole cluster ferments and long maceration (he considers 50 days to be short) give complexity to even the most youthful of his wines.
91/100 Decanter, February 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"This is made from a blend of plots on clay and sand, with vines aged between 20 and 43 years. It's fermented in barrel, and 30% is aged for one year in barrels acquired from Didier Belondrade in Rueda. Aromas of grapefruit lead into a rich body with notes of tropical fruits, enlivened by brisk acidity. Fresh and very long."