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El Castro de Valtuille Mencía Joven 2023

El Castro de Valtuille Mencía Joven

2023
Freshness and balance from Bierzo

£12.20

/ 0.75 L btl
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Spec sheet

TypeRed wine
Region
Grapes
Producer
AllergensContains sulfites
Alcohol contenti13.0%
Production100,000 bottles

The wine

Castro de Valtuille Mencía Joven is the newcomer at Bodegas Castro Ventosa, a traditionally-run winery owned by the Pérez family and located in Valtuille de Abajo. After the departure of Raúl Pérez, the pioneering oenologist of the Bierzo region, there have been no major changes at the winery. Yet it is unquestionably true that Raúl Pérez left a definite stamp on the bodega, endowing the wines with their Burgundy style and thereby creating absolute treasures.

This remarkable Mencía comes as a surprise because, although it claims to be joven on the label, we are perfectly well aware that it is a blend of young Mencía and Castro de Valtuille Mencía, aged in oak; this is where not just its complexity comes from, but also its primary aromas.

If this wine were to be tasted blind, then it would be full of surprises, revealing as it does such complexity with a host of nuances that result in the creation of a very fine wine of excellent quality.

What does this wine taste like?

We have here a delicious, expressive Mencía in its purest form; intensely deep purple-red in colour, very much in keeping with this grape. The nose is powerful and rich, yet because the bottle has just been opened, the wine shows some slight off-odours due to reduction that disappear, after a bit of exposure to the air, to release for our appreciation an array of black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberries, cranberries or blueberries) and black olives, enhanced by a distinctly animal, gamey note so typical of the complex wines of Burgundy.

Smooth on the palate, dense and enveloping are three expressions that suitably describe this wine. It has a sensational feel, smooth and rounded, with no tannic rough edges and no green notes.

Light
Bold
Smooth
Tannic
Dry
Sweet
Soft
Acidic

Drinking and storing

Best served in a Pinot Noir style of glass at a temperature between 14 and 16ºC.  

It can be laid down for up to 4 or even 6 years after the harvest date depending on the character of the vintage but is usually at its best two years after bottling.  

Serve between 14ºC and 16ºC

Food pairing

Meat rice dishes / Vegetables / Small game / Cooked sausages / Braised vegetables

Ratings and awards

202291+ PK
202192 PK
202090 PK90 PN
201991 PK90 PN
201891+ PK91 PN
201791 PK16.5 JR90 PN
PK: ParkerJR: Jancis robinsonPN: Peñín

Wine critics reviewsReviews by Parker and Jancis Robinson

The young 2022 El Castro de Valtuille Mencía Joven is a regional red from over 300 plots of old vines that fermented destemmed in stainless steel and matured in oak foudres for three months. It's juicy, fruit-driven, very primary and approachable—the character of the year—with notes of berries and herbs, spicy and tasty, with an austere palate. 2022 was a very dry and warm year when they had to harvest very quickly and the alcohol levels are moderate. It rained some 30 liters just before the harvest, which saved the harvest and made the wines a lot less warm than expected. Yields were good, nearly as good as 2021. Some 125,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2023.

— Luis Gutiérrez (10/08/2023)Robert Parker Wine Advocate Vintage 2022 - 91+ PARKER

Deep crimson. Rich in stony dark fruit, fragrant and complex already. Firm, grainy and yet sweet tannins. Creamy texture and long fresh finish. Gentle but persistent.

— Julia Harding (12/02/2019)JancisRobinson.com Vintage 2017 - 16.5 JANCIS ROBINSON

Customer reviews

4.0/5
93 reviews
Vintage:

Winemaking

Grapes are harvested early to ensure a perfect equilibrium between freshness and ripeness. After destemming, they ferment in stainless steel tanks. The winery has reduced the number of pump-overs with every vintage, though they do still control the temperature of the process. These methods go a long way to explaining the wine's splendid balance and the fineness of its tannins.

Vinification materialStainless steel
Ageing periodBetween 1 and 3 months
Type of woodFoudre

Vineyards

Vineyards in Valtuille with a variety of soil types, including sand, chalk and clay, at altitudes between 530 and 628 metres. A continental-Atlantic climate with an annual rainfall of 330 litres. Density of 4,000-8,000 vines per hectare and a yield of around 4,000 kg per hectare. 

SoilClay sand
ClimateContinental with Atlantic influence
Altitude560.00 meters