A past Wine Access story about 2014 Raul Perez GUS Mencia Bierzo
For over a decade, sommeliers and journalists have celebrated Spain’s Bierzo wine region, but mostly among themselves. The Mencía wine from this part of España Verde (“Green Spain”) was celebrated by Wine Spectator a few years back. For the uninitiated, here’s what Spectator’s Matt Kramer had to say about Mencía: “I have yet to meet a Pinot Noir lover who hasn’t fallen in love with Spain’s Mencía grape.” Kramer called Mencía from Bierzo one of “The World’s Greatest Underrated Wines”—ever since, these Pinot Noir-like reds have been steadily on the rise. We’ve secured a generous allocation of one of the world’s greatest underrated wines from Raúl Perez, whom Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate called “Spain’s most visionary vigneron.”
Raúl Pérez is hands-down one of Spain’s finest winemakers; many consider his among the best growers in the world. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate captured the consensus, calling him “Spain’s most visionary vigneron.” Pérez makes almost 200 different wines every year, consistently pulling down scores in the upper 90s for his most sought-after wines. Raúl was born and raised at his family’s vineyard, where he developed his talent and passion. He left the winery in 2003 to start his own estate, Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez. His mission from the start was evident: to showcase the forgotten indigenous grapes of a region.
The Wine Advocate says Raúl’s wines “must be tasted to be believed. Words simply cannot do them justice.” If any complaint can be lodged with Raúl’s wines, it’s that they’re made in miniscule quantities and are usually priced in the $100 range. That all changed in 2013 when Raúl launched his Gus Bierzo label.
Gus is a village wine from Raúl’s birthplace, the town of Valtuille, and is 100% Mencía. A beautifully scented and deeply fruity grape with flavors of strawberry and blackberry, Mencía reminds us of Pinot Noir mixed with Cabernet Franc, but with a character all its own. The Mencía sourced for Gus are at least 20 years old and are grown on sandy, clay soils. All of the vineyards are dry-farmed and cultivated organically. No longer can the cognoscenti keep Bierzo’s Mencía to themselves, not with Raúl Pérez crafting such spectacular wines as this 2014 Gus Bierzo.