New Parker ratings for Bierzo wines

We ended last week with new news that came to us from the Parker Guide: a new report by Luis Gutiérrez that listed the new Bierzo wines rated by Parker.

In his report, Luis Gutierrez talks about two vintages: 2016 and 2017. In terms of the 2017 vintage, Luis explains that it was a complicated year, with hot and very dry weather. A year that made it necessary to bring the harvest forward to around August 20th. in an attempt to preserve the freshness that is so typical of Bierzo wines. However, he defines 2016 as a year that had the perfect weather for producing fresh wines. Resulting in very elegant wines, with wonderful aromas and textures. As excellent a vintage in El Bierzo as few can remember.


In his report, Luis Gutierrez highlights the search for identity that the D.O. Bierzo is engaged upon, and how it is forging ahead towards that goal in leaps and bounds. As an example, the classifying of Bierzo wines into vinos regionales, vinos de pueblo, vinos de paraje and vinos de finca. In this post we talked about this classifying of the previous Parker scores for Bierzo and Galicia. The intention of this classifying is to attempt to emphasise increasingly the particular features of each plot.
The denomination also regulates the maximum amount of yeast to be used, as well as irrigation, which will only be accepted for the first two years after planting the vineyard.
In this search for authenticity, the Bierzo denomination is committing itself to traditional varieties such as Estaladiña or Merenzao, and adding new towns to the vinos de pueblo classification.

With all these measures, the Bierzo Designation of Origin aims to take the lead among Spanish wines in this change towards authenticity, typicity and territory. Yet this would not be possible without producers who are capable of leading this change. Luckily the Bierzo has individuals who are great maestros in interpreting the territory, among whom Luis Gutiérrez highlights Raúl Pérez or Ricardo Perez Palacios, in the towns of Valtuille and Corullón respectively; two people committed to their land and who know how to extract the best from each vineyard, making wines with a great personality that are a true reflection of the territory. You don’t want to miss trying the Raúl Pérez wines or the Ricardo Palacios wines, with their Pétalos del Bierzo or Corullón, the winery’s flagship wines.

Luis Gutierrez doesn’t miss the opportunity to highlight the way Verónica Ortega wines have evolved. From producing a single red, ROC Mencía, it has now gone on to produce four reds and a white. Of special note is Verónica Ortega Cal Blanco, a white wine made with grapes of the Godello variety from calcareous soils, something that is rather unusual in Bierzo. Also noteworthy is the red Cobrana made in the municipality of the same name, in the limits of the denomination, when the usual ones are the wines from the Valtuille area. A wine made with both white and red varieties, which gives it a unique personality.

So now you know, if you want to taste the wines from one of the most authentic areas in Spain in terms of winemaking, you shouldn’t lose sight of the Bierzo area; an area with enormous potential, containing small vineyards with a great personality, and with great winemakers convinced that their responsibility lies in getting the best out of their land. And so may it continue to be it for a long time. But hurry, we’re talking about small plots with very limited runs, so they’re wines that quickly sell out every year.

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