Friday, 17 November 2017

Raya La Barajuela 2015 15%, Bodegas Luis Pérez

Bright mid amber with golden highlights.
There is sweetness and richness here as one would expect from a late harvested wine, with traces of mature Auslese and cider as well, yet there is also a hint of crispness. Distinct notes of well-ripened apple, citrus and dried apricot blend with the familiar but light oxidative notes of Jerez. You can even detect the texture of the grape pulp.
Fairly sweet on entry and lightly textured but then there is a distinct tartaric acidity, much more than one would expect in a late harvest wine. There are overripe, very slightly rancio, not yet pasa flavours and those appley ones of oxidation too yet the classic Oloroso nuttiness is not quite there yet. The finish is very long and clean, and virtually dry.
This is an interesting and rather unusual wine, and the only one of its type on the market as the term Raya had disappeared. Willy Pérez is a great experimenter and wants to recreate the Sherry of the past with as much vineyard character as possible. Raya used to be a slightly inferior style of Oloroso often fairly sweet through late picking and used for blending, but this is something else. It is a vintage "Sherry" made the old fashioned way, reaching 15% without fortification, from late picked Palomino grapes in a particular 40 year old parcel of the El Corregidor vineyard in the pago Carrascal, where the soil is the barajuela type of albariza. Harvesters picked the ripest grapes on five occasions over two months, from the start of August to the end of September, providing grapes for various different wines, and the last grapes went into this wine, so they were super ripe. This, along with a short (36 hour) period of sunning the grapes, brought the sugar/potential alcohol readings to a point where 15% could be achieved. After pressing, the juice fermented in butts at ambient temperature and the wine was allowed to age oxidatively. Of the 10 butts produced only one had this particular style, so there were only 550 bottles available, all filled en rama.
40 euros, Licores Corredera

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