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    Castro Ventosa Valtuille Cepas Centenarias 2018


    “The floral 2018 Valtuille Cepas Centenarias is the next vintage after the 2015, as no 2016 or 2017 could be produced. This has a Northern Rhône nose that mixes violets and smoked meat, very showy. The palate is seamless and refined, with very fine, silky tannins. Like many of their wines, 2018 could very well be the finest vintage of this wine to date. This has much lower alcohol (13.2%) and more acidity. In 2018, they used all the white grapes from one of the plots, which could be a significant 6% of white grapes, and also some 5% Merenzao, so the wine is somewhat more fluid and nuanced. The two plots used for this wine are in the paraje of Matalospardos in Valtuille. This is the most complete and complex of the 2018s. 3,500 bottles and 36 magnums were filled in early May 2020. Drink: 2020-2028. 97+ points

    Castro Ventosa is the winery of Raúl Pérez’s family. They are adapting to the new categories from the Bierzo appellation. They are focusing on their vineyards and regrafting some Merenzao now that is accepted by the DO. They are also turning their style toward more freshness in the wines, going for larger barrels; they have always had a very traditional profile. In the near future, there will be a new bottling from La Vitoriana, one of the most prestigious lieux-dits, from 2018. All of the 2018s have a lower alcoholic degree (all around 13.5%, when it was previously 14.5%) and feel very pure and clean, with better-integrated oak. Production varies widely depending on the vintage, between 150,000 and 250,000 bottles.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (249)

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  • Castro Ventosa Valtuille Cepas Centenarias 2019


    “The 2019 Valtuille Cepas Centenarias comes from a single plot of ancient vines that could qualify as Vino de Paraje and in the future as Vino de Viña, but they are never going to do it because it’s their traditional name and label and one of the most consistent wines from the winery. It is made with field blend with lots of different grapes on clay and sand soils. It fermented with full clusters and indigenous yeasts with a long 60-day maceration and matured in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels (but, in the future, they might move to oval oak foudres) for one year. It has the violets and the perfume from the 2018 vintage but with more dimension, more layers and depth. A stellar performance in 2019 (again!). 3,500 bottles produced, what the plot delivered. It was bottled in June 2021. Drink: 2022-2035. 98 points

    At Castro Ventosa they are separating the plots to have more precision, and they have a new top-of-the-range red called La Vitoriana. The wines have less alcohol, less ripeness and less oak, and they are cleaner and more focused. They own 80 to 85 hectares from the 500 hectares in the village of Valtuille, so they don’t buy a single grape (and they don’t sell any either).

    For César Márquez, who likes 2018, thinks 2019 is more serious, keeping the freshness (perhaps with more structure), a more complete year. 2020 had a warmer summer and saw an early harvest, and the result is better than he expected. It’s a warm vintage but not as warm as 2017. I see many similar opinions in Bierzo. However, the 2020 whites felt one notch above the 2019s…”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (01/22)

    In Stock