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  1. Escondido Equilibrio Mei e Meio Red Blend 2015
    Escondido Equilibrio Mei e Meio Red Blend 2015
    Escondido Wines is the project of Michael Wren who was a winemaker for one of Portugal's top producers, Esporao, before opening Wren Estate, based in Heathcote. Whilst running their Douro winery, Quinta dos Murcas, Wren sourced grapes from a brilliant vineyard, in the cooler Dao region to the south of the Douro. The Dao is marked by higher altitudes and heavy granite soils and for Wren this region is the true home of Portugal's best known red variety - Touriga Nacional. The Dao produces pretty, structured Touriga Nacional that is bright and blue fruited with fresh acidity with clear mineral notes.

    The Escondido Meio e Meio comes from 2015 which was a very cool vintage, so this wine was very tightly wound when first botted but has opened up beautifully and is drinking wonderfully at present. Meio e Meio translates as half/half, referring to the composition of the wine. 50% Touriga Nacional and 50% Jaen (Mencia in Spain) which brings some balancing red fruit and tannin to the blend.
    2015
    mencia, Touriga
    South Africa
    489
  2. Bodegas Godelia Viernes Mencia 2018
    Bodegas Godelia Viernes Mencia 2018
    Godelia is a young project, at least in its present form. Its wines come from a combination of very old schist-soiled mountain vines and maturing vines from the clay hill-slopes in the centre of the valley. About 30 of the 50 hectares which go into production of Godelia were planted in 1989 by a former owner, who traded under a different brand name. Godelia as such came into being when Vicente Garcia Vasquez, the optometrist of Cacabelos, purchased these holdings in 2009.

    Cacabelos is a town smack bang in the middle of the valley floor, midway along the old highway from Ponferrada in the south to Vilafranca del Bierzo in the north. The Castillo Plateau to which these villages belong is a microclimate well-suited to viticulture.

    Featuring lovely red dirt smell of the clay, Viernes has cherry-plum fruit laced with dark cooking spices (clove, nutmeg, pepper corn).  The palate of soft purple juicy fruit is touched with gentle choc-earth tannin throughout. There's a lovely ringing sweet allspice corralling all and neat soft acid at the back achieves freshness and vitality to close. PWS
    2018
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  3. Mengoba Brezo Tinto Mencia 2018
    Mengoba Brezo Tinto Mencia 2018

    Pérez's entry-level Mencía comes from multiple remote parcels of 30- to 60-year-old vines dotted around the slate-rich hillsides of Valtuille and Villafranca del Bierzo. The blend also takes in a splash of Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) for added brightness and crunch, but the hero here is Pérez's high-grown and chiselled Mencía fruit.

    In the pursuit of something pure, refreshing and juicy, Pérez de-stems 90% of his fruit and ferments wild in stainless-steel vat. The wine is bottled early to capture all of that joyous, mouth-watering fruit. If you fancy a detour from Cru Beaujolais or Loire Cabernet Franc, this is an excellent place to go. Expect waves of red fruits, anise spice and a bright and crunchy close. PWS


    The spicy and peppery Brezo Mencía could make you see why some people compare Mencía with Cabernet Franc (they are completely unrelated), with that herbal twist that gives this wine an Atlantic freshness and a somewhat wild profile. This clearly transcends its price category; it's a sophisticated, unoaked old-vine Mencía from old vineyards where is always a small percentage of other grapes, such as Alicante Bouschet, Doña Blanca... It's sleek, elegant and polished, fresh and easy to drink, nicely crafted. LUIS GUTIERREZ

    2018
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  4. Adras Mencia 2016
    Adras Mencia 2016

    100% Mencia, 90% 50-year-old vines from the Amandi sub-region and 10% from 40 year old vines in Ribeiras do Miño

    This a fuller richer version then the 2015 and shows a touch more sweet oak on the nose and palate. That same garrique and dark cherry fruit is layered over licorice and smoky minerality with a dried flower accents. Like the nose the palate is richly fruited with a lovely earthy current that sits beneath the surface of the sweet fruit. Snappy tannins run through the palate and a crunch bit of acidity plays off the cherry, red berry flavours. PWS

    2016
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  5. Quinta da Muradella Candea Tinto 2016
    Quinta da Muradella Candea Tinto 2016

    As per the Blanco, the Candea Tinto fruit is sourced from the Monterrei vineyards of a Mateo's great friend, and now collaborator, Juan Jose Vilela. This is a fleshy, juicy blend based on Mencía, with a coterie of other local grape varieties-including Garnacha Tintorera, Mouratón and Arauxa (Tempranillo)-all sourced from mature vines rooted at 400-450m above sea level. All the ferments were wild, and included roughly one-third whole bunch influence. Most of the maturation was carried out in stainless steel. PWS

    The red 2016 Candea Tinto is an easy-drinking, unoaked and fruit-driven blend of multiple grape varieties-Mencía, Arauxa, Garnacha Tintorera and Mouratón-from different vineyards in the village of Tamagos plus a little bit of Alicante Bouschet and Mouratón from 70-year-old vines. It fermented with one-third full clusters and indigenous yeasts and was kept in stainless steel for one year before it was bottled. This is much better than the 2015-sharper, more focused, more austere. It's still young and undeveloped, but it's serious while at the same time easy to drink. Truly outstanding for the price. LUIS GUTIERREZ  The Wine Advocate

    2014
    Garacha Tintorera, mencia, tempranillo
    Spain
    440
  6. Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Mencia 2017
    Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Mencia 2017
    Telmo Rodriguez and his partner Pablo Eguzkiza are wine-cultural historians. They contend that when you drink (and by extension, plant and grow grapes, make and mature wines), you choose and make a place; establishing its ecology, its landscape, its political economy and its lived history. You interpret, transform, confirm a certain way of things. Their intention is to interpret and confirm Valdeorras on a human, rather than industrial scale. The wines are delicate, pure, hand-made. “This
    is the anti-winemaking”, they proclaim. PWS

    It was hard to beat the superb 2016, but the 2017 Gaba do Xil Mencía was also perfumed and open, expressive, with a little more ripeness, with good volume and a little more density. This fermented and matured in stainless steel and was bottled without ever touching any oak to keep the fruit profile. But it's more than fruit; it has the austere texture of the granite soils with an expressive finish. 2017 was a short vintage because of problems with frost and they produced 22,700 bottles of it. LUIS GUITERREZ, eRobertParker
    2016
    mencia
    Spain
    497
  7. Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Mencia 2018
    Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Mencia 2018
    The entry-level red 2018 Gaba do Xil Tinto is mostly Mencía with some other grapes from the mixed plantings in old vineyards. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, where it matured for 12 months before bottling. This was a cooler vintage and went back to harvests from yesteryear. It was not an easy year, but the most successful wines are going to have good freshness. Here, I see more complexity than in the previous vintage; this is less varietal and goes more in the direction of the single-vineyard reds. There is ripeness but without excess, with herbal and spicy aromas and a notable finish. LUIS GUTIERREZ, RobertParker.com

    2016
    mencia
    Spain
    497
  8. Daterra Portela do Vento Tinto 2017
    Daterra Portela do Vento Tinto 2017
    The fruit for this wine comes from two sub-zones in Ribeira Sacra, Amandi and Val do Bibei. Both sites contain plenty of granite and sands and are farmed organically. The vines range from 20 to 60 years in age and the wine is made up of 90% Mencia and 10% Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) that's 20% whole bunch. It's fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and then aged in large, mature French oak for 9 months. It's racy and vibrant with plenty of red fruit but like all of Laura's wines it has striking freshness and plenty of mineral notes. It's plums, raspberries, cherries and blood orange fruits along with salted black licorice, a mix of floral elements and a touch of wild herbs. ANONYMOUS
    2017
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  9. Silice Mencia 2017
    Silice Mencia 2017
    80% Mencia, the rest a blend of local varieties. Fermented in concrete and aged in big old oak.
    Distinctive aroma that is not just dark-red-fruited but also peppery and has a hint of something more rich and meaty. But the primary character is pure fruit and lightly herbaceous. A touch herbal (?stemmy) on the palate and stony/mineral too. Fine-boned and dry. Surprisingly long for quite a delicate wine. JULIA HARDING MW, JancisRobinson.com
    2017
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  10. Fedellos do Couto Peixes Peixe da Estrada 2016
    Fedellos do Couto Peixes Peixe da Estrada 2016

    Sourced from organically farmed vines, the 2016 Peixe da Estrada is a village red blend from old vines (60+ years old) on granite soils in Viana do Bolo planted with multiple red varieties—Mencía, Bastardo, Garnacha Tintorera, Negreda, Grao Negro, Caíño, Aramón, Godello, Dona Branca, Colgadeira, Treixadura, Palomino, Caíño Blanco and Moscatel de Grão Miúdo, etc. It fermented with full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in used 500-liter oak barrels and a 3,200-liter oak vat for one year. It has tons of cassis and small berry aromas and is very expressive and balsamic, with brightness and light, in a way that reminds me of some wines from Cachapoal in Chile. The palate has fine tannins and a certain elegance, round but also long. Like all the wines in the project, it's sold without any appellation of origin, and they just replicated the wines from yesteryear, mixing red and white grapes, something that appellations don't usually allow. 9,000 bottles were filled in February 2018. LUIS GUTIERREZ

    2016
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  11. Guimaro Finca Meixeman Single Vineyard Mencia 2018
    Guimaro Finca Meixeman Single Vineyard Mencia 2018
    Pre Arrival Due September 2020 limited stock
    The 2018 Finca Meixeman comes from one of their oldest vineyards and was produced with the varietal blend in the vineyard—80% Mencía and 20% Brancellao, Merenzao, Garnacha, Mouratón, Negreda and Sousón. The palate is impressive, very complete, harmonious, pungent and vibrant. 2018 was a return to the style after a catastrophic 2016 vintage with hail and the 2017 vintage when the vines were recovering. This is from the lower part of A Ponte, with granite and slate soils, and it's a little more powerful. It's really impressive, one of the finest.  (95) LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2018
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  12. Mengoba Sancho Martin 2014
    Mengoba Sancho Martin 2014
    I clearly underestimated the 2014 La Vigne de Sancho Martín when I tasted it last year, and I'm glad Pérez submitted it again as I was immediately blown away by its strong personality, perfumed and subtle nose and was devastated when I saw my comments from April 2016. I'm tempted to say this is Mengoba's finest offering to date. It's super elegant with a rare combination of power and finesse. As I mentioned, it's a single-vineyard red from a plot that used to be owned by someone called Valentín in the village of Espanillo in the zone of Sancho Martín. The field blend is mainly Mencía with some 15% Garnacha Tintorera and a little Godello. The grapes are part destemmed, part full-cluster fermented in a 1,000-liter stainless steel vat and then transferred to 600-liter demi-muids for malolactic and 12 months aging. Simply superb! LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2012
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  13. Guimaro Finca Capelinos Single Vineyard Mencia 2015
    Guimaro Finca Capelinos Single Vineyard Mencia 2015
    This is a southwest-facing vineyard at 350 meters altitude on schist soils, with nearly centenary vines with mixed varieties but dominated by Mencía. It fermented with 55% full clusters and very long fermentations and a very soft vinification, almost like an infusion to try to not extract too much. It certainly worked fine, and the wine showed great elegance. The palate is super balanced, with very fine tannins and great length. This is very subtle, and it grew in the glass. But it's in the palate where it shows its greatness. Great showing! It matured in used 225-liter oak barrels for 13 months. This is quite accessible, but it should develop further nuances with some more time in bottle; it kept changing in the glass, developing more balsamic notes, with a hint of mint. 1,100 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2017. LUIS GUITIERREZ
    2014
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  14. Guimaro Finca Pombeiras Single Vineyard Mencia 2015
    Guimaro Finca Pombeiras Single Vineyard Mencia 2015

    Again, the 2015 Finca Pombeiras was also available for tasting, as it had been bottled for four months. In 2015 they harvested a little earlier, because it was a warmer and drier year. This is usually more exuberant and expressive than Capeliños, but the palate does not show the same finesse, even if it's still one of the most elegant wines of the appellation. These old vineyards are always a field blend where Mencía dominates, but there are myriad other varieties—Caíño, Sousón, Brancellao, Merenzao, Negreda, Garnacha Tintorera and Mouratón. Unfortunately, only some 800 bottles were filled in February 2017. LUIS GUTIERREZ, erobertparker.com

     

    2014
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  15. Guimaro Finca Cappelinos Single Vineyard Mencia 2012
    Guimaro Finca Cappelinos Single Vineyard Mencia 2012
    It's hard to make up your mind about your preferences in 2012 between the Finca Pombeiras and the Finca Capeliños. Capeliños is an extremely old vineyard, they don't know its age but they know it's at least 96 years old and that it is planted with a field blend dominated by Mencía but also with other white grapes (which are used for the white Viñas Viejas) and other local reds that represent some 20% of the final blend here. Some 40% of the full clusters were put with the rest of un-crushed grapes in a 3,000-liter oak vat where it fermented slowly during some 55 days. It was transferred to used barriques where it completed malolactic and one year aging in contact with the lees. The smaller oak containers might be responsible for the more serious, closed personality of this wine that with some time in the glass unfurls aromas of violets, earth, balsam, aromatic herbs, peach and malted cereals. The palate is medium-bodied with great freshness (orange peel), flavors of violets and an earthy, mineral/slate sensation. This surely has the stuffing for a long, slow development in bottle and it would be fascinating to follow up its development next to the Finca Pombeiras. Only 1,000 bottles were produced. LOUIS GUTIERREZ
    2012
    mencia
    Spain
    471
  16. Descendientes de Jose Palacios Corullon Mencia 2018
    Descendientes de Jose Palacios Corullon Mencia 2018
    Due to arrive September 2020

    The village wine 2018 Corullón has, for the first time, the new category Vino de Villa (village wine!). It comes from around 90 plots of their own vineyards. In the cooler and more Atlantic 2018, they had more rain than the previous two vintages and a lower average temperature, and they think it was excellent for their wines ("a modern version of 2001," Ricardo Pérez Palacios told me). There are around 8% white grapes here, and the wine fermented in oak vats with punching down, and the élevage was in a combination of barriques, bocoyes and foudres, oak containers of different sizes, and was short of 11 months. This is the modern version of 2001 and 2012, and in 2018, it has the part of Moncerbal (almost 40%) that was not in the 2017 (because of hail, the Moncerbal bottling was not produced in 2017), so it goes back to the classical style.

    There is terrific balance here, great purity, with the essence of slate; here, we move from the fruit of the Pétalos to the herbs. But there is complexity and nuance, violets, rockrose, sap, resin, fern, cinnamon and citrus, all very subtle and harmonious. The flavors have similar purity, and if these wines never have high acidity, there is great freshness, soft citrus, all very subtle and velvety. This is sooo easy to drink it could be dangerous... They produced 23,034 bottles and other formats, half-bottles, magnums, double magnums and jeroboams. It was bottled in January 2020. 96 LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2018
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  17. Terroir Al Limit Dits Del Terra 2015
    Terroir Al Limit Dits Del Terra 2015
    The 2015 Dits del Terra has a beautiful nose that is very elegant and perfumed, with floral aromas and a clear mineral note from early on. This is a slightly warmer vineyard (the one originally worked by Eben Sadie); but the balance is amazing here, and there is no heat. The foudres are also a little older-six years old-and therefore are quite neutral, and the wines age nicely in them. The quality and refinement of the tannins is surprising-they provide for a velvety texture, and there is a liveliness on the palate that only the best wines can achieve, especially with a rustic grape grown in a rustic place and in a warm vineyard. In this 2015, the Cariñena is just as fresh (maybe even fresher!) as it is in the Arbossar. Bravo! At the end of the day, both showed a similar quality level. For proprietor Dominik Huber, it's clear that Cariñena is the grape for the warmer places on slate soils. 4,600 bottles were filled in May 2017. (95)LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2015
    mencia
    Spain
    459
  18. Descendientes de Jose Palacios Moncerbal Mencia 2018
    Descendientes de Jose Palacios Moncerbal Mencia 2018
    Very limited stock only available in the pack.

    The 2018 Moncerbal, a "vino de paraje," was produced from different plots in the same zone of the village of Corullón. It comes from seven small parcels that make up 1.74 hectares of 60- to 90-year-old vines on a slope with a south-southwest orientation at altitudes from 610 to 730 meters. It fermented with stems (every year they use a variable percentage of stems, between 10% and 30%) and indigenous yeasts (a constant here) in oak vats with a 70-day maceration, and it matured in oak casks of different sizes for 10 months.

    The winery describes it as juicy and crystalline, with the energy of the quartz that is intermixed with the slate and marble soils. This is a stonier and more austere vintage, mineral and tasty, with terrific balance, great precision and symmetry, detailed and precise, very focused and incredibly tasty. Like many of its siblings, this 2018 could very well be the finest vintage to date.

    There's not a lot of acidity; there's not a lot of tannin; there's not a lot of anything, but it's all there, all in place, with impressive depth, nuance and complexity. This is going to be a classic Moncerbal for the long haul. 2,103 bottles and some other larger and smaller formats were filled in December 2019. 98+ LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2018
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  19. Descendientes de Jose Palacios Las Lamas Mencia 2018
    Descendientes de Jose Palacios Las Lamas Mencia 2018
    Due to arrive September 2020

    I always like to compare the 2018 Las Lamas with the Moncerbal (and the others!) from the same vintage, as they are very close together and very similar, just a change in orientation, which, in this part of Bierzo, can mean huge differences. And it's often down to the harvest date, as the Mencía grape has a very short window of perfect ripening, and one day too early can be too early and one day too late ... well, too late!

    This comes from seven plots in the same place, the last one purchased in 2017 and totaling 2.13 hectares. They have requested the new classification of Gran Viña Clasificada in the new categories approved by the appellation Bierzo. This is a place with lots of light and a tendency toward intense ripeness, creating a more voluptuous wine. Besides Mencía, the vines have around 7% white grapes, mostly Jerez (Palomino) and 3% Alicante Bouschet or Garnacha Tintorera. They are in the process of certifying all their vineyards, and most probably the 2020 vintage will be able to carry the organic label.

    The natural fermentation was carried out in oak vats, and the maceration lasted 65 days. The élevage was in a combination of oak containers of different sizes and lasted for 11 months
    This is a really impressive effort and showcases the generosity (in a Pomerol sense of the word) of this place; it's silky, elegant and tender but with more volume than the Moncerbal. I think this vintage is very transparent (or their interpretation has been), and each of the wines shows its personality, transcending the style of the year, like the year was more transparent. 97+ Luis Gutierrez
    2018
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  20. Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2011
    Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2011
    Depp, bright purple.  Drop-dead aromas of dark berry preserves, Asian spice, potpourri and incense, with an intense mineral overtone.  Stains the palate with sappy, chewy black raspberry and floral pastille flavors enlivened by notes of allspice, star anise and nutmeg.  Silky, sweet and penetrating on the finish, which clings with outstanding tenacity and clarity.  There's an elegance and focus here that's reminiscent of the best Burgundies, but with more power and texture.  If I were a third-world despot this is what I'd be drinking every day. STEPHEN TANZER, wineaccess.com
    2011
    mencia
    Spain
    355
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