2014 Raul Perez-La Vizcaina de Vinos, Bierzo Blanco, La del Vivo, Lomas de Valtuille, Spain.
One of Raul Perez’s new projects, La Vizcaina de Vinos, is to explore the vines of his hometown in Bierzo’s Vatuille de Abajo and his intriguing La del Vivo Bierzo Blanco is a stunning white wine made from two plots La Poulosa, planted in 1940, and Las Villegas, planted in 1925, which are a mix of clay and sand and planted to Godello and a rare native varietal Dona Blanca. The gifted talent of Perez is on display in this amazing white, textured, lively and complex with dusty dry crisp detail, it was about 80% fermented in 500 and 700 Liter barrels, with about 20% of the grapes fermented on the skins and aged in clay amphorae that adds to the slightly savory tones and an almost tanniny structure to balance the lush and round Godello mouthfeel. This is beautifully crafted stuff and thrilling, and while I adore the Perez Mencia based reds, this wine was the surprise when I met him and tasted through his wines recently at the Skurnik Wines West portfolio tasting in San Francisco. If you like Premier Cru white Burgundy or dry Riesling you’ll want to find this wine, it has the intensity and mineral/terroir driven focus you’ll adore, plus a bit of exotic character that might remind some of Foradori’s top white offerings. It joins a few of my new favorites in the Galicia region, Laura Lorenzo and Nanclares as must have white wines as well as longtime favorites Guimaro and Luis Rodriguez, with it’s medium full body, lightly floral and spicy with a palate of green apple, peach and lemon/lime along with chalky wet stones, tart kumquat, tangerine, kiwi and golden fig. Subtle yellow/gold in the glass this La del Vivo really grabs your attention and seduces with an elegant and steely beauty, it matches fleshy fish from sardines, salmon to sea bass or tuna even as well as soft cheeses or poultry. 2014 was a cool and difficult vintage, but has turned out some vibrant and dynamic whites, including this one by Raul Perez, drink it over the next 3 to 5 years.
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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