Castro Ventosa Valtuille Cepas Centenarias 2018


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“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)