"They now own 100% of the grapes used for the El Rapolao and the 2021 La Vizcaína El Rapolao, from the youngest vines in the paraje. There is a change from the previous year, as this time they used a 1,500-liter oak foudre to age part of the wine. It's a very clean year, with some notes of toasty sesame seeds, produced with a short maceration and moderate extraction. They put the wine ... read more
"They now own 100% of the grapes used for the El Rapolao and the 2021 La Vizcaína El Rapolao, from the youngest vines in the paraje. There is a change from the previous year, as this time they used a 1,500-liter oak foudre to age part of the wine. It's a very clean year, with some notes of toasty sesame seeds, produced with a short maceration and moderate extraction. They put the wine in barrel after 45 days of maceration, and they feel they have been able to keep more freshness in the wine. It did show very well, with an iron touch and some slightly dusty tannins. It does have a rustic and earthy touch."
Village: Valtuille de Abajo
Vineyard: El Rapolao
Year of plantation: One parcel in 1920 and another in 1980
Altitude: 550 meters ASL
Soil: Clay in the older parcel with more organic material in the younger one
Orientation: North and West
Plant density: 3600 vines / hectare
Varieties: Mostly Menca with Bastardo (Trousseau), Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet)
Elaboration: Whole cluster fermentation in large oak vats. 30-day maceration followed by one year of aging in used 225 and 500-liter barrels. Bottled without fining or filtration.
La Vizcana is a relatively new project from Ral Prez that explores the hillside crus around his hometown of Vatuille de Abajo. Four reds and one white are produced under the name, all from vines with over fifty years of average age. Though all the red wines Ral produces in the Bierzo D.O. are labelled as 100 Menca, they all in fact contain significant quantities of other local grapes. The rich varietal diversity found in Galicia is due in large part to the famous Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint James in the town of Santiago de Compostela, the earliest references to which date back to the 9th century. The monks who made the journey would often carry vine cuttings from their home regions in their packs to offer as gifts to the Spanish monasteries that would put them up along the way. This is certainly the explanation for the preponderance of Trousseau found throughout northwestern Spain. Depending on the particular region (and often on the person you are talking to), the grape is known variously as Bastardo, Mara Ordoez, Domingo Prez, Merenzao, Godello Tinto and Verdejo Negro, but ampelographic studies have shown it to be genetically identical to the Trousseau found predominately in the Jura region of France. Other red grapes found scattered around the old vineyards of Bierzo include Sousn, Alicante Bouschet, Brancellao and Caio. Curiously, Menca and Alicante Bouschet are the only varieties approved by the D.O., hence the practice of simply labeling the wines as Menca.
Farming Practice:Practicing Organic
Farming Practice:Practicing Organic
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