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Grupo Peñin Communicación

LATEST NEWS. Bierzo has zoomed ahead. No other DO, let alone ? Vino de Calidad?, from the Castilla y León region managed to increase production in 2005, compared with 2004. Bierzo, on the other hand, went from 20 to more than 33.5 million kilos in the 2005 harvest, during which wastage was undoubtedly the norm, due to the drought that affected the whole country. With almost fifty wineries and more than 4000 hectares, in the last five years, Bierzo has made significant progress in terms of quality which has opened the door to international markets.

The key seems to be the phenomenal combination of the Mencía variety, the chalky soils, the exemplary modifications to production methods, together with tighter control of the ageing process, carried out by the young wine experts who have established themselves in the region, thanks to their achievements. Almost 23 million kilos of the Mencía variety were harvested in 2005, whilst the Blanca Jerez (which is the name given to the ?Palomino Jerezana in the region) takes second place with almost 8.5 million kilos. In general, despite Bierzo, along with the rest of Spain, having suffered from a relentless drought, the cool nights, prior to picking, prolonged the growth cycle and with it encouraged a better balance between the acids and the sugars contained in the grape. As such, the 2005 Control Board classification was EXCELLENT. But despite everything, of the 135 wines tasted for this Guide, 46 didn?t even reach 80 points, with a good number of them placed in the mediocre 60-70 range, all of which identifies Bierzo?s two (or even three) speeds. There is a nucleus of great wines, exactly a dozen, including some that really stand out as exceptional, and a handful where discretion is their middle name.

The low number of 2005 wines tasted (26), as well as their rather average scores, outlines another of the characteristics of Bierzo: the way in which improvement has come about but without comparable progress seen in maturing the Mencía variety. Perhaps the slight increase in quality of the various Godellos (13 in total, the majority single variety) is also worth mentioning. These are starting to be seen more and more in this DO region. Amongst those in which this significant increase in quality is worth highlighting, is the best wine (87 points), Campo Redondo, which is also the only wine from the Bernardo Álvarez winery that has achieved this level of quality. And as a final note, the fact that sales of their wines continue to take place almost exclusively within Spain (97%), means their expansion into international markets remains an unresolved issue. LOCATION. In the north west of the province of León. It covers 23 municipal areas and occupies several valleys in mountainous terrain and a flat plain at a lower altitude than the plateau of León, with higher temperatures accompanied by more rainfall. It may be considered an area of transition between Galicia, León and Asturias.

CLIMATE. Quite mild and benign, with a certain degree of humidity due to Galician influence, although somewhat dry like Castilla. Thanks to the low altitude, late frost is avoided quite successfully and the grapes are usually harvested one month before the rest of Castilla. The average rainfall per year is 721 mm.

SOIL. In the mountain regions, it is made up of a mixture of fine elements, quartzite and slate. In general, the soil of the DO is humid, dun and slightly acidic. The greater quality indices are associated with the slightly sloped terraces close to the rivers, the half-terraced or steep slopes situated at an altitude of between 450 and 1,000 m.

GRAPE VARIETIES:

Red: Mencíaor Negra(65%), Garnacha Tintorera(5.5%), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo.

White: Doña Blanca(10%), Palomino(15%), Malvasía(3%), Godello(1.5%).

CONSEJO REGULADOR.
Los Morales, 1. Apdo. Correos 41. 24540 Cacabelos (León).
Tel: 987 549 408. Fax: 987 547 077
E-mail: info@crdobierzo.es
Website: www.crdobierzo.es

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WINES:

Whites

These are pale yellow, light, fresh and fruity, although not too defined. The ones with most character are those that contain the Godellovariety.

Rosés

The colour can range from onion skin to pink tones; on the nose, strawberry and raspberry aromas dominate, typical of the Mencíavariety, which must make up at least 50% of the blend. In general, they are light and supple.

Reds

These are the most characteristic wines of the denomination. Those that most stand out are the young wines of normal vinification or produced using the carbonic maceration procedure. Sometimes there is a risk of a slightly low acidity due to the fast ripening of the Menciain such a mild climate. They have an intense cherry colour with a brilliant violet edge and are fruity with a very robust aroma (strawberries, blackberries) typical of the variety; on the palate they are dry, light and fruity with a great varietal character. Barrel-aged red wines are also produced.


GUIA PEÑIN 2005 CLASSIFICATION: VERY GOOD

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