"I was blown away by the 2020 wines in barrel in June 2021 and found the 2020 Villa de Corulln very ready, open, expressive, floral and ethereal. It destroyed the idea I had of a warm and ripe 2020. Ricardo Prez Palacios told me he was thinking of bottling the 2020s earlier, as they didn't need a long levage, just nine or 10 months in barrel. The wine is pale, the palest Corulln ... read more
"I was blown away by the 2020 wines in barrel in June 2021 and found the 2020 Villa de Corulln very ready, open, expressive, floral and ethereal. It destroyed the idea I had of a warm and ripe 2020. Ricardo Prez Palacios told me he was thinking of bottling the 2020s earlier, as they didn't need a long levage, just nine or 10 months in barrel. The wine is pale, the palest Corulln ever, with 13.7% alcoholperhaps the vines got blocked and didn't develop more color compounds or sugar. The wine makes me think of a red from Jura; it has a different profile and is more delicate, ethereal and full of light and energy. Prez, who hates comparisons with other regions, couldn't stop saying that it felt like a Morey Saint Denis! It's all flowers and red fruit, with a lot of super fine tannins (the 2019 tannins are rougher) that are round and give it a velvety texture with no rusticityelegant and balanced. There is a nice balance between tannin and acidity, something this has in common with the 2019, which makes the vintages quite unusual, because being warm, the wines show balance. Today, it feels more like Moncerbal than the Moncerbal bottling; nevertheless, Corulln is around 40% from Moncerbal...It has to be my favorite Corulln to date."
James Suckling 95
Slightly reductive at first, then it opens up with a hint of roasted sesame that colors the dark raspberries, strawberries and the tangy profile of white pepper, dried herbs and agave. Really long and vertical on the palate, with very tight and dusty tannins that still need at least a year or two to integrate more. Ethereal and lingering finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink from 2024.
In Pursuit of the Dream
The idea of making great wine from old-vine Mencía never left Alvaro, and his experience in Priorat-particularly with L'Ermita-convinced him of Bierzo's enormous potential. Meanwhile, his nephew Ricardo Perez had finished enological studies in Bordeaux and was travelling across France-absorbing everything he could about great wines. He worked the harvest at Château Margaux, and did internships at other Bordelais firms like Moueix (Pétrus, Trotanoy, etc.). He also visited Alvaro frequently and came to share a belief in Bierzo's potential. In 1998, the two decided on a joint venture and set out in search of the region's finest old vineyards.
Assembling the Pieces
Alvaro and Ricardo found promising sites in a number of villages but shortly came to believe that the greatest potential lay in a little town on Bierzo's western border named Corullón. Old vineyards lined the precipitous hillsides there, and the local soils were extremely poor-composed mostly of schist-but with incredible diversity. The minute variations in soils and exposures across this zone immediately reminded the two of Burgundy's Côte d'Or, or Piedmont's Langhe hills. In Corullón, Alvaro and Ricardo believe they have found a unique combination of soils, old vines, and a distinctive variety that will yield their own grands crus. Beginning with 2001, the estate began to make their case with individual vineyard bottlings.
The winery is dedicated to Alvaro's father, and Ricardo's grandfather, who passed away in early 2000. The wines are a worthy tribute to the man who inspired them."
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