The revolution in Mencia has come full circle. Traditionally grown in the Ribeira Sacra, Bierzo and Valdeorras regions of north western Spain and once thought to be a relation to Cabernet Franc, to Australian drinkers Mencia wines (when they have been available) have been pale, fragrant wines produced for early drinking and mass consumption. These wines were largely produced from high yielding vines on the fertile plains which resulted in dilute wines. During the 1990’s a score of young, smart, passionate and dedicated producers have ascended the hills of the regions of initially Bierzo, and then Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras to discover old vine plots of bush vine Mencia planted on deep schist soils.
These higher elevations resulted in cooler climates good drainage and the wines produced are nothing short of remarkable. Thanks to the leading visionaries, Alvaro Palacios, alongside nephew Ricardo Perez Palacios and a handful of other dedicated winemakers these regions have undergone a renaissance of quality, resurrecting the agricultural economy and invigorating the regions deteriorated reputation. Their concentrated medium bodied Mencia’s, dominated by rich black fruits, sweet spices and earthy tannins are unique and offer impeccable value. Over the past few years we have seen an increasing number of these wines that have really impressed us, so we have put together a great line-up of Mencia’s for you to try.