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Bierzo: 2012, A great Opportunity. Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate.

Luis Gutierrez considers that the best wines in the region are the young un-oaked reds, since they are succulent and juicy. Mencia is a variety that does not shine with excess of oak.

Right picking time is key with Mencia grapes: if too early they can show herbal notes, if too ripe it makes flat, jammy wines with cooked fruit aromas. So, at the right moment it can be very floral with reminders of the Portuguese Touriga Nacional.

As for whites, Godello is the key grape, with many producers turning back to Doña Blanca.

Classic producers like Palacios and Raúl Perez continue to shine in the region, but there are some new names to follow: Akilia, Mas Asturias, Aurelio Feo, among others.

Starting with 2012 vintage there seems to be  a trend towards fresher, more Atlantic styles, which is key to the region.

2012 seems to be a high potential vintage: freshness combined with perfect ripening of the grapes. Could make the best wines in Bierzo in history.

He finds 2013 vintage complex from day one, with fresh wines with potential for ageing.