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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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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