Crozes-Hermitage winemaker, Antoine Graillot (son of legendary Alain Graillot) and Spanish Rockstar, Raúl Pérez collaborate to bring the both of their techniques to the terroir of Bierzo. Antoine’s contribution was fermentation in cement vat, a practice that fell out of favor in Bierzo a generation ago but is still used by the Graillot family in Crozes-Hermitage. The vat he purchased for this project actually wouldn’t fit through the door of Raúl’s winery, so they had to remove a section of the roof in order to lower it in by crane.
In addition to providing local knowledge and access for the grape purchases, Raúl also encouraged Antoine to leave the wine on the skins for an extended period of time after the whole cluster fermentation was complete. The grapes come from three of Raul's best sites in the northwest quadrant of Bierzo, one of which is the Rapolao vineyard in Valtuille de Abajo, a site that is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the finest in the appellation. 100% whole cluster Mencia.
94 points Wine & Spirits: A collaboration between Antoine Graillot from Crozes-Hermitage and Raúl Pérez, this Mencía comes from a range of parcels, with a strong focus in Rapolao, one of Pérez’s star vineyards in the Valtuille de Abajo area. It’s rare for mencía in Bierzo to taste this fresh, with so much energy and tension. There are meat and mineral notes, but it’s mostly just delicious, crunchy red fruit, filling the mouth with freshness. The tannins are youthfully wild, but nothing that game cannot remedy