While Mencia may not be one of the more household names in wine, it's an important variety in Spain's winemaking history and evolution. Prevalent in the Northwestern corner of the country, Mencia reaches its best expressions in both the Castilian region of Bierzo and the Galician region of Ribiera Sacra. In the modern area Bierzo became more noted first due to several famous producers making new investments and creating new interest in the variety in the early 2000s. Bierzo's style with Mencia is richer, bolder and more intensive thanks to the warmer climate of Old Castile, while Ribiera Sacra is cooler from the higher altitude in the mountains. The Ribiera Sacra wines have grown in popularity in recent years as the market has developed for lower alcohol, less aggressively oaked wines, as well as the attention for smaller, more 'natural style wines. D. Ventura is a family run producer making a variety of wines from family holdings in the region, with Vino do Burato made from a single site in one of the more lush and rainy climates. The fruit tends to be slower to ripen here, so their style of wine is meant to be fresher and more elegant.
There was a theory at one time that Mencia was in some way a genetic predecessor to Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux, and when tasting a wine like this the comparison make a lot of sense. Pretty violets and cool cherry skin aromas on the elegant nose, which shows more currants and dark savory spices at it opens up. Silky, snappy cherry skin fruit with an almost citrusy zest to the almost tannin-less finish. This compares more to a Loire style wine than most Spanish ones, vibrant and lively without a thick feel on the palate, great with your more subtle beef and pork dishes that may use more vinegar and herbs in their preparations.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!