2021 Cesar Marquez Perez El Rapolao Mencia
  • 97

2021 Cesar Marquez Perez El Rapolao Mencia

Bierzo, SPAIN
$82. 99
$995.88 Dozen
ABV: 13%
Closure: Cork

Cesar Marquez has Bierzo running through his veins, and is the latest generation of the Perez family to own the leading Castro Ventosa winery in north-western Spain. Growing up around surrounded by the region's leading exponents, including a lengthy apprenticeship with one of the world's greatest winemakers, his uncle Raul Perez, has shaped much of what Cesar values in wine. While he still manages the family estate, Cezar started his own venture in 2015, and is already one of the most exciting young prospects in Spain.

Having a deep understanding and access to some of the best vineyards Bierzo has to offer, Cezar focuses on preserving purity and freshness, highlighting the promise Mencia has in the right place when made with attention to detail. Cezar is structuring his line-up of wines in Burgundian fashion, making a broader appellation wine, a village wine, along with several single vineyard offerings. Winemaking is similar on all wines, with grapes partially destemmed and fermented in open barriques, before spending 12 months in old barrels without any racking or top ups before bottling the following winter. These are wines that are not just great examples of Bierzo Mencia, but wines that truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the finest from any region or country.

Rapolao is the coolest of the single vineyard wines, located in the village of Valtuille and is certainly the most famous vineyard in Bierzo.

Other Reviews....
Márquez's version of El Rapolao in 2021, the 2021 El Rapolao is from the coldest part of the village where the soils are rich in iron and organic matter, and it was micro-fermented by plot in small 1,000-liter vats with a maceration of 17 days and an élevage in used 500-liter oak barrels. It has 12.81% alcohol and nice balance with freshness and acidity coupled with fine tannins. It's super elegant, with lots of finesse, very harmonious, floral and perfumed. It has an austere mouthfeel and is nicely textured, with very fine, chalky tannins. It's more relaxed than previous vintages, when the wine felt tighter. 1,611 bottles were filled in December 2022. Drink 2024-2032.
97 points
Luis Gutiérrez - Wine Advocate (Aug 11, 2023)