Antoine Graillot & Raul Perez - Bierzo Tinto 'Encinas' D.O. 2020 750ml (13.5% ABV)
The concept of this wine is to apply both Graillot (youngest son of the late great Alain Graillot from Crozes-Hermitage,) and Pérez techniques to the terroir of Bierzo. Antoine’s contribution was fermentation in cement vat, a practice that fell out of favor in Bierzo a generation ago but is still used by the Graillot family in Crozes-Hermitage. The vat he purchased for this project actually wouldn’t fit through the door of Raúl’s winery, so they had to remove a section of the roof in order to lower it in by crane. In addition to providing local knowledge and access for the grape purchases, Raúl also encouraged Antoine to leave the wine on the skins for an extended period of time after the whole cluster fermentation was complete. When I arrived to the winery on November 8th of last year, Antoine was there transferring the wine from cement to a large foudre for another ten months of aging. The grapes come 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. The brand name “Encinas” refers to the Quercus Ilex, more commonly known as Holm Oaks.
highly rated! 93+ from Wine Advocate, 92 Wine Spectator
Intense and savory, leather, subtle smoked meat notes, Earl Grey tea leaf, forest floor notes, spice, roasted black plum and black raspberry, yet set in a lithe, light- to medium-bodied frame. Offers finely textured tannins, which emerge on the earthy finish.
chewy and rustic. decant for 1 hour. can be cellared for 5+ years.
They did shorter macerations in 2019 and 2020 to avoid extracting too much,
region: Bierzo, Spain
farming/cellar: organic, whole cluster fermented in cement vat, extended maceration, moved to large old oak foudre for 10 months,