Calling the far western appellations of the Iberian Peninsula home ...
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.
In the Glass
The best Mencia 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, will be more complex and concentrated.
Excellent with all manner of meat dishes: Steak au Poivre, corned beef, charcuterie, game, carne asada, etc, Mencia will also work with many vegetarian dishes such as grilled portabello, mushroom risotto, wild rice pilaf and smoked tofu.
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.
- Pinot Noir1451
- Cabernet Sauvignon1345
- Bordeaux Red Blends1050
- Other Red Blends958
- Rhône Blends446
- Other Red Wine174
- Cabernet Franc102
- Petite Sirah82
- Tuscan Blends48
- Nero d'Avola22
- Petit Verdot8
- Touriga Nacional5
- St. Laurent3
- Nerello Mascalese2
- Alicante Bouschet1
Bodegas y Vinedos Luna Beberide Mencia 2005Mencia from Spain
Dominio de Tares Mencia Baltos 2005Mencia from Spain
Castro Ventosa El Castro de Valtuille Mencia Joven 2005Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
ViniGalicia Via Romana Mencia 2005Mencia from Spain
Bodegas Virxen del Galir Pagos de Galir Mencia 2005Mencia from Valdeorras, Spain