Bodegas Raul Perez - Bierzo Tinto - 'Ultreia St. Jacques',
Castilla y León, Spain 2019
New Vintage - Higher Score! Wine Advocate 94 Points!
"The nose of the 2019 Ultreia Saint Jacques is nothing short of spectacular. It shows the varietal character and the juicy and round style of the Valtuille vineyards. It's harmonious, clean and expressive. They are using more and more stems with long macerations, malolactic in tanks and aging in 30% oak vats (he purchased from Alión) and 70% of the wine in used 225-liter oak barrels for one year. There is only one master blend, which is put into oak vats and bottled by 25,000- to 30,000-bottle lots. In 2019 he produced 110,000 bottles of this wine."
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From the Skurnik Portfolio: Raúl Pérez Pereira is universally considered to be one of the world’s most visionary winemakers. Since he produced his first vintage for his family’s winery in 1994 at the age 22, he has been in the forefront of the conversation about what has been called “The New Spain”. In 2005, he left his family business to strike out on his own, creating Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez, which quickly became the point of reference for the Bierzo appellation. In the intervening years, he has expanded his sphere of activity to include the appellations of Rías Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Tierra de León, but his heart and his home remain in Valtuille de Abajo, the village in Bierzo where his family has been tending vines for well over 300 years.
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.” A picture of Raúl in that same article is captioned, “Is this the best winemaker in the world?” Raúl would certainly not self-apply any of these superlatives. In fact, his genius is far exceeded by his humility and generosity of spirit. That humility comes through in his wines. These are not “winemaker” wines so much as they are unadulterated expressions of the villages and vineyards from which they hail.
Dominio del Aguila - Clarete, Pícaro del Aguila,
Ribera Del Duero, Spain 2018
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 93+
This is not your typical rosé! ‘Picaro Clarete’ is a whole cluster, spontaneously co-fermented blend of Grenache, Tempranillo, and multiple other indigenous varietals, aged in French oak for 23 months. Where other rosés struggle to compete with the test of time, this wine excels. This is a wine to experience, with aromas of blood orange, toasted hazelnuts, warm cinnamon, tart cherries, peach skin, smokey minerals, and salty watermelon, striking a balance between power and finesse - an exquisite rosé with the complexity to satisfy even the most sophisticated palates.
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Chateau de Pitray - Premier Vin, Castillon, Cotes de Bordeaux 2018
Decanter - 91 - "Well textured, velvety fruits sit on a firm and fresh palate. This is good quality, stretching out in the mouth with tannins that are fully supportive of the project, not getting in the way but cheerleading as the fruit takes its first steps. There is so much to enjoy in the smaller appellations this year."
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Alexander Knechel - Certified Sommelier
Wine Sales Manager - Plucky Wines