Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez La Vizcaina El Rapolao 2018
Mostly Mencia Dominated Field Blend. Raúl Pérez Pereira is universally considered to be one of the world’s most visionary winemakers. He has quickly become the point of reference for the Bierzo appellation and in the intervening years, he has expanded his sphere of activity to include the appellations of Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra, and Tierra de León. 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.” Raúl Pérez is the archetype of humility though and that comes through in his wines as they are unadulterated expressions of the villages and vineyards from which they hail. La Vizcaína is a project from Raúl Pérez that explores the hillside crus around his hometown of Vatuille de Abajo. Four reds and one white, all from single vineyard sites, are produced under the name. El Rapolao vineyard has an elevation of 550 meters, mostly clay soil, and one parcel of the vines dates back to 1920 with the other parcel dating to 1980. The grapes are whole-cluster fermented in large oak vats, aged in large, used barrels for a year, and bottled without fining or filtration. This is a gorgeous wine that shows the wonder of Raul Perez, Mencia, and Bierzo.