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 publicationDer Feinschmeckerin 2014 and “Best Winemaker in the World” for 2015 by the French publicationBettane+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.
The Godello is from three sites in the village of Valtuille de Abajo, though 90% of the fruit in this vintage actually comes from one north-facing site. The ultimate focus here is on preserving acidity, as Godello can get blowsy and even a little sloppy if overripened. So this is picked on the knife edge of ripeness, and as such the resulting wine only reaches about 11.8% alcohol. The wine ferments and ages in a combination of foudres and old concrete.
"2020 was a very good year for whites, and they harvested very early. The 2020 Ultreia Godello shows restraint and very low pH (3.2!) with high acidity (6.6 to 6.8). None of the whites go through malolactic, and this is the freshest vintage of this wine so far. This is now made with mostly own grapes from Cacabelos and Ponferrada (in 2022 they will own around 80% of the vineyards used for this wine), matured in a mixture of barriques, oak foudres and some concrete. It's super tasty, mineral and finishes dry. There are some 30,000 bottles of this wine." - 93 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Producer: Raul Perez
Region: Castilla y León
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