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.
- Bordeaux Red Blends399
- Pinot Noir175
- Cabernet Sauvignon141
- Rhône Blends60
- Other Red Blends41
- Tuscan Blends11
- Other Red Wine6
- Cabernet Franc3
- Nero d'Avola1
Bodegas Avancia Valdeorras Mencia 2014Mencia from Valdeorras, Spain
Losada Bierzo 2016Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
Bodegas Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille 2014Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
Godelia Mencia Bierzo 2012Mencia from Bierzo, Spain