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  • Castro Ventosa Castro Ventosa Bierzo Mencia (Rabbit Label) 2020

Castro Ventosa Bierzo Mencia (Rabbit Label) 2020

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Dark ruby-colored, it reveals an enticing perfume of baking spices, eucalyptus/pine notes, black cherry, and black raspberry. Smooth-textured, sweet, forward wine. Drink this effort over the next several years. A terrific introduction to the Mencia grape.

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Atop the hill overlooking the village of Valtuille de Abajo lies the ancient Roman fortification of the Castro Ventosa- the Castle of the Winds. Since 1752, the Perez family has owned and farmed vineyards around the ancient ruin, and has taken its name for their vineyard domain. With about 195 acres under cultivation, the Perez family is the most important grower and winemaker in the region. While the wines have been spectacular for generations, since 2018 the winemaking has been largely under the guidance of Raul’s son Gabriel, whose deft winemaking has resulted in wines of even greater finesse, delicacy and brilliance.

Bierzo takes its name from the pre-Roman settlement of Bergidum, first mentioned by Pliny the Elder in connection with the region’s gold mines. The district hosted the Roman world’s most important gold mine, and largest open-pit mine. Grapes and other agricultural innovations were introduced by the Romans, and the main phase of viticultural expansion was during the High Middle Ages under the monasteries. The region’s viticulture was nearly wiped out by phylloxera in the 19th century, but recovered sufficiently that Bierzo was recognized as a Denominacion de Origen in 1989.

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