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||90 Pts Luis Gutierrez - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate||Size:||750ML
||Castille and Leon
90 Pts Luis Gutierrez - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Worth the premium from the un-oaked 'joven', the 2013 El Castro de Valtuille Mencia Joven is fermented in stainless steel and then transferred to 5,000-liter oak vats for one or two months before bottling, which helps the wine develop and get rid of the reductive character of the grape when it's fermented in stainless steel. It has a balsamic and creamy nose mixing notes of wild berries and licorice with some flowers and a hint of spices. The palate is medium-bodied, with very fine tannins and a pleasant, slightly bitter finish. This is great value. 50,000 bottles were produced.
"The family winery of the Perez family in Valtuille de Abajo had a wide and strong collection of wines to show. Beside minuscule single-vineyard bottlings they are also quite good in the available, affordable, young, un-oaked red category. All the old vineyards in Valtuille contain a mixture of grapes, even when Mencia is the dominant one." Reviewed January 2015.
90 Pts Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media
"(all mencia and all stainless steel): Fresh, mineral-tinged redcurrant and cherry scents show very good clarity and a subtle floral overtone. Tangy, focused and pure on the palate, offering intense flavors of bitter cherry and red berry preserves. Shows a light touch that's quite pinot-like, along with a touch of smokiness that carries through a long, mineral-driven finish. If you want to show somebody what mencia smells, feels and tastes like, serve this one." Reviewed September 2014
About the Wine
"Vinification: El Castro de Valtuille Joven is made from the youngest vines on the estate, aged between 20 and 40 years old. The plantation intensity is 4000 to 8000 vines per hectare. Harvest is done by hand. It is vinified and fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for four months. Aged in old large wood vats, no cold stabilization or filtration. The total production of this wine is less than 300,000 bottles and it is the best selling wine in Bierzo.
"Tasting Notes: Intense dark violet. Dark fruits with some spice and licorice. This is a medium bodied red wine with hints of wild berries and a soft palate. El Castro de Valtuille is especially well balanced and easy to appreciate, a great alternative to Pinot Noir, pairs well with a wide variety of dishes from pasta to coq au vin." - Importer
About the Estate
"Castro Ventosa was founded by the Perez family in 1752 and the family owns the estate ever since. The Perez family owns 75 hectares of MencÃa vineyards in Bierzo making them the biggest owners of this varietal within the Bierzo D.O. The Bierzo appellation is made of 5,000 hectares with 2,500 ha planted with white varietals and 2,500 ha planted with MencÃa and there are 5,000 landowners within the appellation.
"Raul Perez, who now runs the winery, is a figurehead for Bierzo wines in Spain. Castro Ventosa produces three different Mencia; Valtuille, El Castro de Valtuille and El Castro de Valtuille "Joven Mencia". Mencia is indigenous from Bierzo and some suspect that it is an ancient clone from Cabernet Franc.
"The Bierzo D.O. is located in the northwest of the Province of Castilla y Leon, just above Portugal. Castilla was one of the original Spanish regions to unite against the Moors in the Middle Ages and thus became the north-west stronghold for the Catholics. The region has a great historical past with many remains that testify of its rich history.
"The winery is situated in the village of Valtuille de Abajo at the foot of the slope of the Castro, the ruin of an ancient Roman fort that dominates the village of Valtuille de Abajo. Some of Castro Ventosaâs vineyards are planted on that same hill just around the ruins, the name Castro Ventosa means "The Windy Castle".
"The Valtuille is made from five parcels situated in Valtuille de Abajo with pre-phyloxeric vineyards that are located on the only sandy soil found in Bierzo.
"Bierzo is in a small valley surrounded by mountains. This exceptional geographical position gives the area a specific microclimate. The low altitude prevents frost in winter and the warm summer months provide ideal conditions to grow exceptional vines. The soil is a mixture of quartzite and slate.
"At Castro Ventosa making high quality wine begins in the vineyard itself, where the best conditions must be present while taking great care to ensure that the entire natural cycle is well completed. It is crucial to monitor the vineyards closely in order to choose the right moment for the harvest to take place; this is when the grapes have reached their optimum maturity. The fruits are then harvested by hand and sorted in the vineyard.
"At Castro Ventosa life gravitates around the land, the vineyard, the grape and the wine, which can only be created as a natural consequence of doing things right at every stage; the belief is that the wine is first made in the vineyard where the winery focuses most of its attention." - Importer