Antoine Graillot & Raul Perez Encinas Bierzo 2019
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This wine is the collaboration of Antoine Graillot, the youngest son of the late great Alain Graillot from Crozes-Hermitage, and Bierzo visionary Raúl Pérez. Antoine’s contribution was to conduct fermentation in cement vat, a practice that fell out of favor in Bierzo a generation ago but is still used by the Graillot family in Crozes. [It turned out the vat was so large, they had to remove part of the roof to get it into the winery.]
In addition to providing local knowledge and access to the good fruit, Raúl also encouraged Antoine to leave the wine on the skins for an extended period of time after the whole cluster fermentation was complete. The wine was then matured in large foudre for ten months.
100% Mencía from three different sites in the northwest quadrant of Bierzo, one of which is the Rapolao vineyard in Valtuille de Abajo, a site that is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the finest in the appellation. It's floral and spicy with slightly gamey black fruits and a slatey minerality--it really does feel like Bierzo through a Northern Rhône lens. This is your lamb wine.