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- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Ladeiras do Xil Gaba do Xil Mencia 2017Mencia from Valdeorras, Spain
Learn about Mencia — taste profile, popular regions and more …
Calling the far western appellations of the Iberian Peninsula home, Mencia was once only deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. But post-phylloxera growers only planted this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. The recent rediscovery of the ancient, abandoned vines planted on rugged hillsides of deep schist has unveiled the potential of Mencia and added discredit to its old reputation. Primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras regions of Spain and in the Dão of Portugal (where it is called Jaen), Mencia is an early ripening, low acid grape that can produce wines of great concentration, complexity and ageability.
Tasting Notes for Mencia
Mencia is a dry, red wine that possess characters such as raspberry, red currant, boysenberry, pomegranate, black licorice, spice cake, black pepper, Asian spice and crushed gravel. Some styles remain light and fruit-dominant while the more serious versions, aged in new oak, more complexity and concentration.
Perfect Food Pairings for Mencia
Mencia is excellent with all manner of meat dishes: Steak au Poivre, corned beef, charcuterie, game, and carne asada, to name a few. Mencia will also work with many vegetarian dishes such as grilled portabello, mushroom risotto, wild rice pilaf and smoked tofu.
Sommelier Secrets for Mencia
Never had Mencia? Well if you like Pinot Noir and other aromatic reds (like Gamay), definitely investigate Mencia. Many affordable options abound as well as higher-end, more complex versions. Often the latter contain other varieties for adding depth and complexity, or come from the extremely old vines.