Photo of bottle and glass of Valtuille Cepas Centenarias Bierzo 2019 by Bodegas Castro Ventosa

It’s impossible not to be drawn to the heroic wine cultures of areas like Côte-Rôtie, Ribeira or today’s lesser known region, Bierzo. Valtuille Cepas Centenarias Bierzo 2019 is as lively as wine gets and as distinctive as the foreboding landscapes that produce them.

The legend behind today’s bottle is the Raúl Pérez, the bushy-bearded impresario from Spain’s Bierzo region. Our love of drinking this wine runs just as deep as Raul’s passion for making it. Here’s what the excitement is all about.

Raul Pérez has a high-energy hit on his hands—this refined Bierzo showcases technique and terroir in equal measure—earning 98 points from Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate this year.

Pérez has been named “Winemaker of the Year” by German publication Der Feinschmecker in 2014 and “Best Winemaker in the World” in 2015 by the French publication Bettane+Desseauve.

Raul Pérez has a high-energy hit on his hands—this refined Bierzo showcases technique and terroir in equal measure—earning 98 points from Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate this year.

Castro Ventosa was founded by the Perez family in 1752 and the family owns the estate ever since. Bierzo is one of the only wine-producing regions in Spain where the average age of the vines are nearly 100 years old and the root stocks have been growing there for centuries. Have a look at the picture below. The trunk of the vine is thick and gnarled. The roots of these vines go very deep bringing all the minerality up from the soil in to the fruit.

This gem is known for its incredible versatility with food, its ability to age gracefully and its startling resemblance to Côte-Rôtie. It’s drinking right now, however, its tight tannins and racy acidity will bring you aging potential of at least 10, 15, and even 20+ years. 


98 Points
Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate, January 2022


BODY /  STYLE / OAK / Medium bodied / Subtle, Fruity, Floral / Oaked


CELLARING / Drink now or Cellar

BEST PAIRINGS / Red Meat, Veal Roasted

TASTING NOTE / Bright ruby colour in the glass. Silky, succulent red fruits and a seductive dark cherry note mingle with bright, freshly ground pepper on the nose here. The palate is bright, with chalky and refined tannins, providing a fine-grained structure that props up layers of blueberry and fleshy red fruit. Cured meat, dried herbs and powerful fruit come together with superb precision. Long, elegant and refined to the finish.


The Perez family owns 75 hectares of Mencía vineyards in Bierzo making them the biggest owners of this varietal within the Bierzo D.O. The Bierzo appellation is made of 5000 hectares with 2500 ha planted with white varietals and 2500 ha planted with Mencía and there are 5000 landowners within the appellation.

Bierzo is in a small valley surrounded by mountains. This exceptional geographical position gives the area a specific microclimate. The low altitude prevents frost in winter and the warm summer months provide ideal conditions to grow exceptional vines. The soil is a mixture of quartzite and slate.

The winery is situated in the village of Valtuille de Abajo at the foot of the slope of the Castro, the ruin of an ancient Roman fort that dominates the village of Valtuille de Abajo. Some of Castro Ventosa’s vineyards are planted on that same hill just around the ruins, the name Castro Ventosa means ‘The Windy Castle’. The Valtuille is made from five parcels situated in Valtuille de Abajo with pre-phyloxeric vineyards that are located on the only sandy soil found in Birezo.


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