Tuesday, December 13, 2011

RAUL PEREZ, at 39, is a SPANISH WINEMAKING LEGEND by Philip S. Kampe

IMAGINE being taken captive by ALIENS. You are in another GALAXY somewhere in SPACE.
You are THIRSTY. A wine glass appears with a bright GOLD colored liquid. You drink it and have no clue as to what you are drinking.

It could be wine or it could be a taste you have never had before. The glass has the word 'GODELLO' on it. And the name ULTREIA La CLAUDINA 2007 appears on the outside of a bottle that is floating in space.

The taste lingers on your palate--and you want more--but, you really don't know what you are drinking.

Well, that is how I felt when I sampled several white wines from the RAUL PEREZ collection. I sampled 41 wines (red and white) in all and was overly intrigued by all of the wines, especially the whites.

I have written bits and pieces about the wines of RAUL PEREZ in the past. I said I thought the reds are 'OVER THE TOP' and the whites are from 'OUTER SPACE'.

RAUL worked on his family vineyard, BODEGAS CASTRO VENTOSA, in BIERZO (northwest Spain) until he was 31, then moved on to develop his own wines.

Unafraid of failure and pushing boundaries, RAUL PEREZ has taken the ART of WINEMAKING to a new LEVEL. RAUL PEREZ is DRIVEN and his wines PROVE it.

You can see it in his eyes.'PERFECTION WITH RISKS' should be his anthem.

Today I met RAUL PEREZ. It was like meeting one of the BEATLES. His wine is his music and his songs are unique.

RAUL employs winemaking methods that are out of the ordinary and include:
** Submerging wine bottles for 60 days in a cage 60 feet below the waters surface.
** Allowing water to penetrate the corks, while aging under water.
** Using concrete egg-shaped barrels that use gravity on the lees to age wines.
** Raul employs battonage(lees stirring).

The RESULT:
** MUTI 100% ALBARINO 2010 and 2007 from Rias Baixas ($36.99)**
** 100 year old and 40 year old vines. Half of the wine is aged for 12 month in oak, thus creating this unique Albarino 93RP (both 2007 and 2010. The masterful wine is clean, vibrant, acidic with depth. Mineral characteristics dominate the palate. The way the wine is made makes you believe you are drinking a different variety of grape.**

** SKETCH 100% ALBARINO 2005,2006,2008,2009 and 2010 from Rias Baixas ($77.99)**
** Made with 40 year old vines, 400 feet from the Atlantic sea and harvested a week to two weeks later than other vineyards help create the basis for this wine that is aged under water at the Aurosa Estuary. The lack of oxygen, the great amount of pressure at 60 feet below sea level and low temperatures create a wine like no other. Intense minerals, stone fruit and citrus yield to the wines finesse and strength**

** ULTREIA La CLAUDINA 100% GODELLO 2007 and 2010 from Bierzo ($53.99)**
** Decanted (recommended) and golden in color with an amber tint, this unique, mineral driven, complex wine amazes the palate with herbs, spice and tropical fruit that resembles an alcoholic, aged fruit cake with hanger steak juices. There is nothing like this--a defining wine that puts RAUL PEREZ on the map.**

The portfolio of RAUL PEREZ is much larger than the wines I focused on today. All wines are made in small batches with limited production. Martin Scott distributes the wines in the U.S. and can be reached at: www.MartinScottWines.com (516)327-0808

Ole Wines began in 1999 with three wines. Today, they distribute over one hundred wines. Patrick Mata and his partner,Alberto Orte, own and operate OLE IMPORTS, which distributes the wines of Raul Perez. They can be contacted at www.OleWines.com (914) 740-4724

RAUL PEREZ makes the most 'UNUSUAL WINES IN THE WORLD'. He has a 'CULT' following, which I am proud to say that I am a member.

At 39 years old, RAUL PEREZ is a WINE GURU and a NATIONAL TREASURE of Spain, much like RAFAEL NADAL.

PHILIP S. KAMPE
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com
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