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Antoine Graillot & Raul Perez, Encinas Mencia Bierzo 2019

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Bierzo Mencia
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93 points Wine Spectator
"Appealing violet, tarry smoke and spice box notes play on the nose of this expressive red, with flavors of black plum reduction, red licorice, cured tobacco and singed orange peel on the palate. The fresh, lasting finish features fine-grained tannins, which are creamy with light grip. Drink now through 2029. 850 cases made, 112 cases imported."
#99 in Top 100 of 2022. 

93 points Wine Advocate
"The profile of the 2019 Encinas follows the reductive profile of their previous wines, a style that is very different from the rest of the producers from Bierzo, somehow more Rhône-ish. They did shorter macerations in 2019 and 2020 to avoid extracting too much, but it created some troublesome malolactic fermentation. The wine has abundant, dusty tannins and some rusticity. It's 14.1% alcohol."

Vinous Reverie Notes
Encinas” is a special collaboration of two celebrated minds, vineyard owner Raul Pérez, with a guest appearance from Antoine Graillot of the Northern Rhone. The two winemakers apply their own techniques to the terroir of Bierzo. Antoine actually bought a cement vat for the project; alas, it would not fit through the door of Raúl’s winery, so a hole in the roof was made, and the vat was lowered by crane! Raul offered his knowledge for the purchase of the local grapes and Antoine offered his adept hand in making the wine. He took Raul’s advice of keeping the wine on its skins for a longer time after whole cluster fermentation took place. The wine is an intriguing Rhone-style that took a trip to Bierzo. “Encinas” refers to the local name for the common holm or evergreen oak, as seen artfully displayed on the label. 100% Mencia from three different 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. It's floral and spicy with slightly gamey black fruits and a slatey minerality - it really does feel like Bierzo through a Northern Rhône lens.


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