Spending some unexpected time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic? It's a great time to explore a new-to-you grape variety like Mencia.
100% Mencia from Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain. The wine spends 6 months in American and French oak barrels and another 6 months in bottle before release. The wine has just 1.9 g/L of residual sugar and is vegan friendly.
Sample submitted for review. The Pagos de Galir Mencia from Bodegas Virxe de Galir and CVNE has an SRP of $17 and is available for as low as $14. Imported by Arano LLC.
Although it was founded in 2002, the Virxe de Galir winery has its origins in the 17th century, in direct relation with the inn or house of Garcia. The inn belonged to the ancestors of the current owners, and in it the wine was consumed or transported in mule skins to the adjoining neighborhoods. Continuing with this rich tradition, our vineyards of Valdemioto, Forrono, Soutinonovo, Regueiron, or Foio and A Presa, are more than 600 meter above sea level. They rise on slate terrain in the form of terraces, this Pagos de Galir, barrel aging is the pride of our winemaker.
Mencia is a thick-skinned, violet-blue grape that was once thought to be Cabernet Franc. (It's not, but it is actually the same as the Portuguese variety called Jaen.) Native to the northwestern part of Spain, that is still primarily where it is grown.
Historically difficult to grow, modern winemaking and viticultural techniques have helped improve its popularity recently as winemakers have used the excellent old vine fruit to make much more interesting wines than what was traditionally made.
The 2016 Pagos de Galir Mencia begins with a pleasing aroma of red and black cherry, lots of licorice, some balsamic notes and a little vanilla. Tasting the wine reveals juicy, fresh, deep, tart fruit with similar flavors to the nose. There's also plenty of spicy minerality leading into the dry, long and slightly grippy finish of lingering balsamic. While it's not super complex, it sure is flavorful. This would make a great burger wine.
Ready to buy? See a listing of local retailers here.