Raul Perez - Castro Candaz

Raul Perez may just be the best winemaker in Spain (Decanter Magazine has even debated if he's the best in the world). Everything the man touches seems to turn to gold. No one has done more over the past decade to advocate for the greatness of northwestern Spanish wine, and his wines have developed a devoted following with our customers and internationally. Today, we're happy to offer the 2017 vintage of Raul Perez's newest project, Castro Candaz.

Perez's wines come mainly from Bierzo and Ribeira Sacra in northwest Spain. His thing is finding abandoned sites or remote family-farmed vines, and offering to rehab them in exchange for fruit. He focuses entirely on indigenous varieties and old vines (like, REALLY old, usually 80+ years). While he works with an array of varieties, the Mencia grape is his primary focus and the source of his best wines. Mencia is quickly staking its claim as a great grape of Spain, largely thanks to Perez's work. And wine geeks love the wines because they're full of soul, overflowing with complexity and character, and aren't crazy expensive.

Castro Candaz is a collaborative project between Raul and Rodri Mendéz of the famed Albariño producer Do Ferreiro. While most of Raul's wines come from the Bierzo region, the Castro Candaz project focuses on Lugo in Ribeira Sacra. Compared to Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra microclimates are cooler and its soils more granitic, resulting in finely-chiseled, detailed wines. If Raul's Bierzo wines call to mind the great wines of the Rhône, here they're more akin to Cru Beaujolais or even Burgundy.  This entry-level Ribeira Sacra Tinto is Raul Perez at his most elegant and thirst-quenching.