A Raúl Pérez x J&B Collaboration - Introducing Ultreia Saint James's

3 June 2023

Justerini & Brooks is excited to launch a very limited, exclusive project named Ultreia Saint James’s. Rather like Pérez himself, the wine is a complete one-off and has its own distinct identity and energy. Conceptualised and blended in partnership with Mark Dearing, Justerini & Brooks’ Spain buyer, the name riffs off Pérez’s flagship red wine Ultreia Saint Jacques (named after the pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago, which passes through Bierzo) and London’s St James’s Street, our spiritual home.

A limited edition run of only 900 bottles, our wine blends Mencia (80%) and a whole host of other indigenous grape varieties. The base hails from Pérez’s home village of Valtuille de Abajo, with 68% of the blend taken from two plots: Cabanelas, an east-facing site planted in 1930 on clay and sandy soils; and the north facing La Vitoriana, one of the region’s greatest sites whose vines not only date back to 1881 but also remain on their original rootstocks.

The secret ingredient, however, is the schist-rich sub-region of Valdecañada. This historic but lesser-known subregion comprises some of the area’s highest vineyards. It is an area that Pérez has been working hard to recuperate and bring acclaim to after years of abandonment, owing to its challenging location and hard labour required to manage the vineyards. 23% of the blend comes from three schist-rich sites, while the top 9% of the blend, is the prized single vineyard El Cerro from a 2 year old barrel, which adds a whole new level of concentration, minerality and focus to the wine.

From the lovely 2020 vintage, Ultreia Saint James’s is laced with violets, cherries and wild blue fruits plus a trace of smoke and schist, with further herbs, salt and red berries jostling for space on the palate. In keeping with the Pérez style, all the individual components were fermented with 100% whole bunches and raised in used 500L French oak barrels for 14 months. Though approachable now, the wine has all the material to develop handsomely over the next ten to fifteen years.

Mark Dearing explained that “Raúl is famous for his collaborative approach and celebrated around the world for his undiluted, authentic worldview of wine and its place. The Ultreia Saint James’s project has been three years in the making and it’s been an enormous privilege to work with one of the world’s greatest winemakers to put together a wine of which we’re all really proud.”

We defer to Jancis Robinson MW, who has today referenced the duo of Saint Jacques and Saint James’s in their “WINE OF THE WEEK” section, with an accompanying overview of Perez’s background and our joint venture project. To read the JancisRobinson.com article please click here.

A handful of exclusive on-trade partnerships are taking place. In England, the wine is exclusively listed at Mayfair’s Hide restaurant, while in Scotland, Ultreia Saint James’s will feature as part of the new Duck & Waffle opening in Edinburgh’s St James’s district, continuing the St James’s theme. Hedonism Wines is our exclusive partner in the independent retail space.

Julien Sarrasin, Head Sommelier at Hide, says that “In Ultreia St James’s, the balance is perfect; there is so much purity and charming fruit, and I can already envisage pairing it with a new lamb dish on our tasting menu by Chef Ollie Dabbous.”

Roberto Bravo Head Sommelier and Restaurant Manager at Duck & Waffle said “it’s a one-of-a-kind wine. Ultreia St James expresses elegance, balance and complexity, and keeps evolving into the glass. I would describe this wine as a real Gentleman and a great partner to our signature dish, the Duck and Waffle!”

Both listings will run only while stock lasts. All of the bottles are numbered individually and closed with soft, dark blue wax.

Justerini & Brooks customers have the first opportunity to secure some of this rare and exciting project. The bottle price including duty and VAT amounts to £33.68 while magnums equate to £71.36 inc. VAT per bottle and come packed in individual wooden cases.

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These items are for storage in a bonded warehouse and are offered for sale without the inclusion of duty and VAT. These charges need to be settled before the wine or spirits can be dispatched, unless being delivered to another bonded warehouse. All "En Primeur" wines are also offered "In Bond" and duty and VAT invoices cannot be raised until the wines have arrived in our UK warehouse.

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