This is another new brilliant vintage of Raul Perez’s St. Jacques Mencia value from the Ribera Sacra, Bierzo, and Valdeorras regions of Galicia in northeastern Spain. The scallop shell (St. Jacques) is the icon for the historic pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. This wine pays tribute to the trails leading to the city and the church, and to those monks who gift Mencia vines along the routes to farmers who allowed the travelers rest and stay on their properties.
If this is a new varietal for you, this is the ideal wine for you to initiate yourself….floral aromatics, lip smacking wild berries, loam minerality, soft and supple mouthfeel, gentle tannins make it ready to drink. The 2020 packs a little more power, and is denser and more fruit packed than the excellent 2019. Perfect with gourmet ground beef or lamb-feta burgers or “whatever”! Takes a light chill for summer time drinking! Has been called one of the world’s greatest wine values and we agree. Sourced from ancient bush vines, organically dry farmed on decomposed sand and schist vineyards.
“They had not bottled the 2020 Ultreia Saint Jacques yet and were still waiting for the labels (and they label the day after they bottle), so I caught an unbottled sample that was very tender and fruit-driven, primary and quite open. He used more stems and full clusters in 2020, and since 2018, they have removed the percentage of white grapes that used to be included in the wine. It’s a little more Mediterranean, with aromatic herbs and a more powerful palate. There will be some 120,000 bottles from 2020.” – 93-94 points, Wine Advocate, Luis Gutierrez