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Cesar Marquez 'Parajes' Mencia 2021

Mencia red Wine from Bierzo

Regular price $26.99

2021 Parajes Tinto
César Márquez Perez
$26.99 net
$24.99 (code: 6saves2)

94 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez)
The super affordable 2021 Parajes really overdelivers in this cool year. It was produced with grapes from up to 45 different plots in nine villages, trying to capture the essence of Bierzo. This regional red mixes soils and altitudes, mostly very old plots and therefore planted with a field blend with a majority of Mencía but also around 10% Alicante Bouschet and 5% whites or other reds like Bastardo, Souson or Estaladiña. It fermented by plot in stainless steel and plastic bins with some full clusters, indigenous yeasts and variable macerations, ranging between 15 and 60 days. Seventy-five percent of the volume matured in 225-, 400- and 500-liter barrels and the rest in a 5,000-liter oak foudre. It's aromatic, floral, perfumed and elegant, with a medium-bodied palate and very fine tannins. It is round and juicy, with very fine tannins and depth and complexity, corresponding to a much more expensive wine. A bargain. He harvested quite early in 2021, and the wines have moderate alcohol.

85% Mencia 7% Alicante Bouschet 8% white grapes and other varieties

Age of Vineyard: 102 years old for this vintage, planted in 1918; 

Soil: Clay, slate, sand, and limestone

Winemaking: The grapes were collected manually, each plot was fermented independently, with the final mixture having around 50% of the whole cluster. The grapes are gently stepped on, so that a part of the grapes remains whole in the fermentation, which is carried out spontaneously with wild yeast. Macerations occur between 17 and 60 days of contact. After pressing, the wine is introduced separately in barrels. After one year, the barrels are emptied and the different plots are assembled.

Maturation: 12 months in barrels of 225, 400, 500 and 600 liters

Luis on Cesar: The personal project of César Márquez Pérez will have some more new labels in 2021, but for now (through the 2020 vintage) it's the same wines, just learning about the vineyards. The project has grown, up to 30,000 bottles in 2019 and to 35,000 bottles in 2020, which is the size he wants to stay with as it's what he can do without having to leave the family winery Castro Ventosa, where he's the winemaker. The 2020s felt really superb: the white is the best he has produced, and the reds have less alcohol and perhaps a little less extraction than before, looking for his own style. All of the wines from 2019 onward have the new categories—Vino de Villa, Vino de Paraje… In 2021 he also started advising Estévez Bodegas y Viñedos in oenological matters, so the wines change in 2021. I look forward to tasting them.

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