Verónica Ortega is one of the most talented young winemakers in Spain. A woman who professes love for the old Mencía vines that survive in the remote Valtuille Valley (Bierzo) growing on arid soils and a harsh climate, and its strong Atlantic influence. Veronica has gradually pieced together her holdings of 5ha of old vines, though she has struggled to buy tiny plots, noting that locals are very tied to their land and prefer to own it and do nothing with it rather than selling, so she has to rent some of the vineyards she works with.
Roc is Veronica’s finest and longest-lived wine (named with the initials of her oldest brother who sadly passed away) comes from two small parcels (La Rata and El Couso) averaging 100 years of age. Here the sands give more aromatic finesse and precision to the fruit, complementing the muscular side conferred by the clay. 100% whole bunches of Mencía and gently extracted over 20 days, it was aged in 2-3yo barrels for 14 months. There’s a darker fruited character to this wine with brambly fruit and violets on the nose as well as hints of licorice and incense. Only 6,000 bottles are made.
Mencía, Roc, Verónica Ortega, Bierzo, 2019
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