The POD tasting will feature a selection of the top ‘cru’ single vineyard Mencia wines prior to release to the Australian market. As much as I dislike cross regional analogies in wine, sometimes they analogies are useful: Mencia is something akin to a cross between wild, spicy Cornas, gamey Cru Beaujolais and supple high-end Burgundy. Bloody meat, inky-jube fruits, rose and violet florals, forest floor, tobacco and dried herbs are common varietal features. Standout examples of Mencia have a long, fine, extremely silky thread of fruit tannin all the way down the palate. The seeming acid-freshness of successfully balanced Mencia is a factor which Alvaro Palacios terms ‘environmental acidity’: altitude, low yield, cold-mineral soils, vine age and careful handling of fruit tannin can all be very successful collaborative mitigatory of the variety’s low-acid nature and conspire to present the wine in a deceptively acid-fresh guise. The (re)discovery of this variety is one of the most important steps in Spanish wine over the last 20 years – akin to the discovery of abandoned vineyards in Priorat.
Recently quality conscious producers have begun bottling small crops of ancient vine Mencia which display unique qualities depending on the various elements of aspect, inclination and soil type: all the factors of traditional terroir – these are incredible and rare wines some of which fetch prices akin to grand cru Burgundy or first growth Bordeaux. This is a rare opportunity to sample some of the best and most exciting wines Spain has to offer. SEBASTIAN
The line-up: Guimaro Finca Pombeiras Single Vineyard Mencia 2014 Guimaro Finca Capelinos Single Vineyard Mencia 2014 Niepoort & Guimaro Ladredo Ribeira Sacra 2013 Descendientes de Jose Palacios Moncerbal Mencia 2014 Descendientes de Jose Palacios Las Lamas Mencia 2014 Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2014