Veronica Ortega - "Quite" Valtuille Vinas Viejas Bierzo 2021 750ml (12% abv)

Veronica Ortega - "Quite" Valtuille Vinas Viejas Bierzo 2021 750ml (12% abv)

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Some call Mencia the Pinot Noir of Spain - elegant, lean, hard to do well and expressive of terroir, it's an easy crowd pleaser - we love this one by one woman show Veronica (who's been at it for nine vintages now) because of its combo of minerality and fruitiness provided by the sand and red clay soils (with high iron content).  The vines are around 90/100 years old in the Bierzo valley (Northwest, Spain). Veronica exclusively works with Menica (as her red of choice) and from tasting a range of them, she knows how to gently coax magic out of the finicky varietal. Her vines are located at around 700m elevation, further adding to the freshness of her wines.

Veronica’s father was a bullfighter and 'dar un quite' is originally a bullfighting term, now commonly used and meaning 'to offer a helping hand'.

“She is a spitfire,” Kristie said. “She’s a firecracker, which is a lot like her wine, actually.” The young winemaker learned her craft from the likes of Alvaro Palacios and Raul Perez, winemakers generally considered to be the best of the best in Spain. Today, she farms 5 hectares of 80-year-old Mencía vines in the unique microclimate of Bierzo, sandwiched between the cool maritime influences of Galicia and the hot plains of Spain’s central plateau. In Bierzo, Ortega found balance, both in the terroir and the expression of her preferred variety, which hovers somewhere between Pinot Noir’s elegance and Syrah’s structure. Ortega harvests her organically grown vines entirely by hand, and her ‘Quite’ wine is a pure, vibrant take on Mencía’s potential power.

Her impressive resume also includes stints in the cellars at: Niepoort (Douro), DRC (Burgundy), and Crozes Hermitage (Domaine Laurent Combier), Burn Cottage (Central Otago)

region: Bierzo, Spain

varietal: Mencia

style: red

farming/cellar: practicing organic/sustainable, ambient yeast, destemmed, 15-day cuvaison and aged for seven months, half in 800 ltr amphoras and half in 2-3 years old oak barrels. gently filtered.

pairing: tapas,