Wine Guide

Raul Perez La Clave


Raúl Pérez is the bearded rockstar winemaker of Spanish wine. As a teenager Raúl was already the winemaker at his family’s Bierzo estate, Castro Ventosa. Young Raúl wanted to be a doctor, but he was destined to be the most prolific consultant winemaker in the country. Making wine all over Spain, his heart has always been true to his home in the northwest, with projects in Bierzo, Monterrei, Rías Baixas and Ribeira Sacra. Described as “part artisan and part mad scientist”, his approach to vinify wines by separate plots and terroirs has lead to comparisons with Burgundy. Many think that Pérez has been largely responsible for the rise of Mencía, and we applaud him for it.

Tending towards low yields and susceptible to disease, Mencía is a demanding varietal. Its notable acidity is lost when left too long on the vine. As is the case with “La Clave”, Mencía is often blended with other local varieties. The blend here is 90% Mencía, 5% Tempranillo, and 5% Syrah.

Mencía is by nature a floral variety. Aromatically this wine is perfumed with notes of pomegranate, strawberry and rose water. Beaujolais fans may recognize some similarities here. Vibrant maroon in color, the palate yields persistent tannins and bitter pepperiness. A split personality, it is both inviting and a touch brooding.

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5 – 7 days within Alberta.

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