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.
- Bordeaux Red Blends1162
- Pinot Noir622
- Cabernet Sauvignon411
- Other Red Blends137
- Rhône Blends134
- Tuscan Blends21
- Cabernet Franc18
- Other Red Wine11
- Nerello Mascalese9
- Nero d'Avola5
- Touriga Nacional4
- Petit Verdot2
- Petite Sirah2
- Alicante Bouschet1
Dominio de Tares Mencia Baltos 2009Mencia from Spain
Dominio de Tares Mencia Baltos 2012Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
Bodegas Rectoral de Amandi Matilda Nieves Mencia 2020Mencia from Spain
Martin Sarmiento Cuatro Pasos Mencia 2012Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
Bodegas Peique Ramon Valle 2012Mencia from Bierzo, Spain