From: Galicia, Spain
"Raul Pérez thinks 2018 is the best year he has seen in his 25 years of making wines in Bierzo, calling it the year of Balance. The whites are superb, even the 2018 Ultreia La Claudina, where there's always a little more ripeness from the sandy soil. They have used only barrels, and in 2018 40% of the oak was new, but in the future there will be a 1,000-liter oak foudre for this. The élevage is longer—17 to 18 months—and the wine develops more. The barrels are never topped up, so it's a little more oxidative. And in this vintage, there is some creaminess (perhaps the high percentage of new oak), with a showier profile, peachy juiciness, more volume and a spicy twist a little à la Jura, but more Meursault than Puligny. It's more expressive, rounder and juicier, less radical than some of the earlier years, spicy and with notes of fennel."
Tasting Notes: The 2018 Raul Perez Ultreia La Claudina presents a vibrant, golden hue in the glass, with a hint of green undertones. On the nose, it offers an enchanting bouquet of ripe stone fruit, particularly peach and apricot, along with subtle floral notes and a touch of minerality. As you take your first sip, the wine reveals juicy flavors of stone fruit, peach skin, and a delicate nutty oxidative character. The palate is unctuous yet balanced, with a beautiful interplay of acidity and minerality that adds depth and complexity to the wine. The finish is persistent, with a slight hint of spice and fennel, leaving a refreshing and satisfying impression.
Pairing: The 2018 Raul Perez Ultreia La Claudina's rich texture and lively acidity make it an excellent companion to various dishes. It pairs particularly well with white meats, such as roast chicken or turkey, especially when seasoned with herbs like thyme or rosemary. The wine's bright acidity and minerality also complement seafood dishes, including grilled shrimp, pan-seared scallops, or fresh oysters. Additionally, its fruity and nutty flavors will enhance creamy pasta dishes or risottos, such as a zucchini or mushroom risotto.
The wine's versatile profile allows it to pair well with a range of vegetarian dishes. A hearty, vegetable-based risotto with asparagus or roasted butternut squash would be a delightful match, as the creaminess of the dish would complement the wine's texture while allowing the flavors to shine. Alternatively, a simple yet flavorful pasta dish with garlic, chili flakes, and olive oil would harmonize with the wine's fruity and mineral notes. Grilled or roasted vegetables, such as eggplant, bell peppers, and zucchini, seasoned with fresh herbs and a drizzle of balsamic reduction, would also make a satisfying pairing, as the wine's acidity would cut through the richness of the dish. Finally, for a lighter option, consider a mixed greens salad with goat cheese, candied nuts, and a peach or apricot vinaigrette, which would accentuate the wine's stone fruit flavors and enhance its overall complexity.
Braised Chicken With Rosemary, Chickpeas and Salted Lemon
By Yewande Komolafe
About. The 2018 Raul Perez Ultreia La Claudina is a remarkable example of Godello, a white grape variety with a fascinating history that originated in Galicia, Spain. This exceptional wine comes from one of the most influential Spanish winemakers, Raúl Perez, who has been a catalyst for the New Spain movement, revolutionizing the perception of Spanish wine.
Grown in a 25-year-old vineyard in Galicia, the grapes are spontaneously fermented and vinified in barrels under a layer of flor. The 2018 Ultreia La Claudina boasts ripe and textured flavors that include stone fruit, peach skin, and nutty oxidative notes, creating an unctuous yet balanced palate. This wine is perfect for lovers of White Burgundy, Jura, and all things Jerez, making it a must-try bottle.
Raúl Perez has left an indelible mark on the world of winemaking, earning the reputation as one of the best in Spain and globally. With a focus on purity of fruit and unique terroir, Perez aims to minimize his impression on the wine while highlighting its natural qualities. This dedication to quality is evident in the 2018 Ultreia La Claudina, which received a 95-point rating from Robert Parker.
Godello's resurgence in popularity can be attributed to winemakers like Raúl Perez, who have recognized the grape's potential for producing outstanding wines. Today, Godello is cultivated not only in Spain but also in Portugal, where it is known as Gouveio. The grape thrives in dry sites, producing small berries in closely packed bunches. Its wines are known for their intensity, mineral-rich character, and longevity, often benefiting from barrel fermentation.
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