La Vizcaina

La Vizcaína is a relatively new project from Raúl Pérez 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 Raúl produces in the Bierzo D.O. are labelled as 100% Mencía, 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, María Ordoñez, Domingo Pérez, 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 Sousón, Alicante Bouschet, Brancellao and Caiño. Curiously, Mencía and Alicante Bouschet are the only varieties approved by the D.O., hence the practice of simply labeling the wines as Mencía.

Farming Practice:Practicing Organic

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La Vizcaina Vinos 'El Rapolao' Mencia 2016
95  Decanter 
Wine Advocate 95+ "The cool and elegant character of the El Rapolao plot seems to have been amplified by the weather conditions in the 2016 La Vizcaína El Rapolao. Pérez does not own all the vineyards, so sourcing can sometimes vary within the same vineyard, and since 2016 it comes from two old

La Vizcaina Vino Godello 2015
93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 93+ "I also got to taste the 2015 La Vizcaína la del Vivo, which came from a vineyard in the zone of La Poulosa in the village of Valtuille de Abajo that was planted with Godello as well as reds and other white varieties. The wine was fermented in 500-liter oak barrels and old

Bierzo Tinto 'La Vitoriana' Mencia 2015
The Wine Village: Valtuille de Abajo Vineyard: La Vitoriana Year of plantation: 1890 Hectares: 1.8 Altitude: 570 meters ASL Soil: Upper sections are sandy, bottom section is clay with river stones Orientation: North and South (shaped like a half-pipe) Plant density: 4500 vines / hectare

Bierzo Tinto 'La Vitoriana' Mencia 2014
95  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 95 "My favorite red of the 2014 vintage was the 2014 La Vizcaína La Vitoriana, which was very expressive, floral and elegant, with filigree and detail. There is a lot of depth in the palate, greatly balanced with very fine tannins and a long, tasty finish. This is the oldest vineyard