WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Mencia-based blend
  • APPELLATION
    Castilla Y Leon
  • ALCOHOL
    14.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

96pts Wine Advocate: The vines at La Vitoriana are from a north-facing part of the vineyard and are extremely old, and the grapes show their best between 13% and 13.5% alcohol. The maceration of the 2016 La Vizcaína La Vitoriana is the longest of all wines from La Vizcaína wines, and it always has very strong balsamic notes. It's subtle and elegant with a velvety texture, with lots of energy and inner strength. Pérez selects about half of the vineyard, and he feels 2016 is the year that best represents the character of the place. I'd add it's probably the best vintage so far. 3,000 bottles produced.

93pts Decanter: Perez left the family business in 2001 and launched the Ultreia range in 2005, with rapid success. As a result of the demand, he says, ‘I did not want to put up prices, so I started the Vizcaína project that wasn't parcel-based and could supply greater volumes.’ He selected four of his family's vineyards that he most liked. The 0.9ha La Vitoriana is the oldest (130 years, own rootstocks) and the most complex. Shaped like a halfpipe in profile, it has three different orientations. The facing slopes are only separated by 80m but harvest takes place two weeks apart. The wine, a Mencia field blend, has lightly smoky aromas with light cherry fruit. On the palate there's a delicate, fine texture to the tannins and a long, elegant finish.

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.