Mencía Wines: Personality, Freshness and Character

After having sung the virtues of the tempranillo, garnacha, bobal and monastrell grapes, in this entry we look to North-eastern Spain to examine one of the trendiest varieties on the international wine scene: Mencía grapes.

Although Mencía grapes have ruled for centuries in the areas around Galicia and León, the rise of a new generation of enologists such as Ricardo Pérez Palacios, Álvaro Palacios, Raúl Pérez, Telmo Rodríguez, Amancio Fernández and Sara Pérez caused an international boom of this previously obscure but high quality variety.


Harvest of Mencía grapes in the Ribeira Sacra. Galicia Tourism

Wines of the Mencía variety are intense, fresh, deep and raspberry coloured, with elegant fruity aromas mixed with delicate flowers. To all this we must add a moderate level of acidity, alcohol content and structure, which means that Mencía grapes are appropriate for both short and long ageing.

Let’s not forget the differences between the generally more full bodied Mencías bercianas, and the more fresh and mineral Mencías gallegas.

In short, Mencía means versatility. It means a Mediterranean influence in perfect harmony with Atlantic currents. It means highly nuanced, earthy wines with lots of history.

And now for the best part: enjoying these five very different Mencías to understand their true potential:

Pétalos del Bierzo 2012. Beginning this list with the new vintage of the best value Spanish wine of 2013 is not bad, right? A complex, elegant and expressive Mencía berciana. A must.

Altos de Losada 2008. Let’s stay with the Bierzo variety to extol the virtues of the wines of Amanicio Fernández. Altos de Losada 2008 is an example of how Mencías fare with long ageing. No less than 15 months in French oak barrels to obtain this delicious wine!

Guímaro 2012. Now let’s take a moment to travel to the Ribeira Sacra, one of the most famous winemaking areas not only in Spain, but in the rest of the world. Guímaro 2012 comes from spectacular Mencía vineyards farmed on terraces in Amandi, one of the five sub areas that form this D.O. This wine is fresh, easy to drink, mineral and delicious.

Ultreia de Valtuille 2011. Let’s move back to the Bierzo to present the wines of Raúl Pérez, enologist of the year according to the prestigious “Wine Awards 2014”. This wine is astonishing: fresh, elegant, flavourful, heady and with a long finish. One of our favourite Mencías.

Gaba do Xil 2012. We end the list with the D.O. Valdeorras, home of the Gaba do Xil 2012, planted by Telmo Rodríguez. One of the best value mencías, in our opinion.



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