2011 Raul Pérez "Vico" Bierzo (Previously $40)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby. Powerful, deeply pitched aromas of black and blue fruits, dark chocolate and licorice, with a spicy topnote. Densely packed and chewy in texture, offering smoky cassis and boysenberry flavors that coat the palate. Closes smooth and long, with lingering smokiness and slow-building tannins. I'd bet on this wine rewarding patience.
Wine & Spirits
The great dichotomy here is between the strength of the acidity, feeling fresh and tense, and the ripeness of flavors: black fruits that scatter over the palate like sweet blackberries. Serve it with lamb stew.
Produced from 100% old vine Mencia vines in the Bierzo sub-zone of Valtuille (the village where Raul grew up and home of his family's winery), this is impressive wine from the excellent 2010 vintage. Given that these vines average nearly 100 years old and the winemaking is as small scale, personal and quality focused as it is, this could be the best value produced from this iconic Spanish winemaker. Some more winemaking details: 30% whole cluster, aging for 9 months in 2 year-old French barrels of 300l, extended post-fermentation maceration on skins for 60 days. This wine typically is dark fruited, spicy, slightly floral and better each vintage as the barrel program matures. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer).