If Raul Perez's reds and whites from Castilla y Leon were a shockwave to my system earlier this year then I admit, I was completely unprepared for what came next. Originally I had offered the tiny-production, experimental Under Flor wines to a small esoteric-minded group, but after rave reviews I worked to bring in more quantity from New York to allow for today's offer. Raul Perez is a trailblazer, no doubt, but the two wines here represent the pinnacle of the mad genius from Spain's northwest.

In 2011, Perez chose a one-hectare parcel of 1970-planted Albarín (white) vines and a two-hectare parcel of 1900-planted Prieto Picudo (red) vines for this project. Each wine is hand-signed including the bottle number. The Albarín produced only 640 bottles.

All the reds and whites we regularly enjoy come from barrels that are topped up every 2-4 weeks with more wine to replace that which has evaporated. This keeps the wines fresh and free from any prolonged exposure to oxygen in the barrel head. In rare circumstances, like with sherry and some wines of the Jura, a producer may decline this standard procedure and allow the wines to age under flor, which is a film of yeast that may develops on top of the wine. This "flor" actually protects the wine from full oxidation, yet endows nutty and saline characteristics to the wine.

As you can imagine, these briny and nutty inflections are initially obvious through aroma and upon first attack on the palate. But, Perez's examples have a startling concentration and unrelenting saturation that stands out immediately. The aging process lends itself to this added dimension of strength, but Perez's calling card of finely-etched and elegant contours is why this project made believers of so many, so quickly. These wines are adored for their sense of grace as much as for their character of impact.

There aren't many wines in the world that can equal a convergence of skill and creativity like these two masterpieces. If there's one producer I now feel 100% confident going down the rabbit hole with it's surely Raul Perez. These are not to be missed, and at under $60 per bottle they still provide a value that has no peers in such a venturesome realm.

2011 Raul Perez Tierre de Leon Tinto (Prieto Picudo)
$57 per bottle.

2011 Raul Perez Tierre de Leon Albarín 
$57 per bottle.