2016 was a year of mildew, and 2017 suffered frost. So, most of the single-vineyard bottlings jump from 2015 to 2018. Such is the case with the 2018 Valtuille La Cova de la Raposa, even though this is one of their warmest and ripest vineyards, a pure south-facing plot that was picked early this year (despite always being the first to be harvested). Perhaps the other big change is that, starting with the 2018 vintage, this matured exclusively in 500-liter oak barrels (it was mostly 225-liter barriques in the past). The extra freshness of the vintage, the earlier harvest and the larger barrels delivered a fresher and lighter wine with lower alcohol, despite being the most exuberant wine, with raspberries rather than violets. This is medium-bodied on the palate and refined, with integrated oak and no heat, and it feels brighter, with more light and more fluid. This could very well be the most elegant La Cova de la Raposa produced to date. 1,300 bottles were filled in May 2020.
Luis Gutiérrez for Wine Advocate