Mighty Mencia and The Val de Sil: A Spanish Wine Tasting

When Mencía is able to ripen fully and is well cared for in the cellar, it’s capable of producing glorious wines with vivacious red fruit and floral character, vibrant minerality and spiciness, and the balance to age. Fortunately, more and more Mencías done right, especially those from Bierzo and Ribeira Sacra, have made their way into the market in recent years and those who have always viewed Spanish red wines as ripe and powerful owe it to themselves to see how well the country can do finesse. JOSH RAYNOLDS
 
The North West corner of Spain is one of the countries most exciting areas for wine; characterful, indigenous grapes coupled with lo-fi winemaking and modern thinking makes for a brilliant recipe. The renovation of ancient vineyards on the steep, high altitude terraced plots is producing some spectacular wines hewn mainly from the Mencia variety.  To drive through the area is to be struck by the "terrible beauty" of the place. Scrub covered mountains rise up from the Sil valley, slate slides off side of vineyards and the plots that are farmed are done so by hand. It's harsh, dry, austere and mesmerising country and you wonder how wine could ever be made commercially here.
 
This tasing will highlight the regionality of Mencia, a wonderful aromatic variety that has a generosity of spirit that sets it apart from grapes like Pinot Noir & Nebbiolo.  There will be leading producers from Galicia and Bierzo which lies next door in Castilla y Leon.  We will also throw some white wines into the mix to complete the regional story.  PWS