The rebirth of the Mencia grape in Spanish winemaking over the last few decades has marked a great trend of embracing older wines or wine styles and bringing them forward into the 21st century. In much the same way Italy has been proactively replanting and promoting their many (many, many...) less famous local varieties, the successful emergence of Mencia has helped bring more and more attention to the less familiar corners of the country. The grape is prevalent in the region between Old Castile and the Galician provinces, or 'Green Spain', where the terrain is much hillier and cooler. The grape itself is far different than Tempranillo, at one time actually believed to be a genetic predecessor of Cabernet Franc and taken to Bordeaux during Roman expansion. Tests have proved otherwise, but wines like this make it very easy to understand how that connection could have been made.
Guimaro and winemaker Pedro Rodriguez take a more neutral, minimalist to their winemaking, and the resulting wine drinks much more like the reds from the Loire than they do from Bordeaux, trading weight and oak barrel aging for vibrancy and freshness. Dusty black cherry aromas with hints of savory herbs and soy, absolutely no signs of heat, perfectly capturing the uniquely cool and lush environment of Ribeira Sacra. On the palate the texture is medium bodied with an impressively polished mouthfeel, almost slippery with extremely fine tannins that show off the savory, gamy fruits. This is a much less 'in your face' style than what most people would expect from a Spanish wine, which is exactly what this wine should be because the grape and the region are unique to the rest of the Iberian Peninsula.
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