A Portela Mencia 2013 Front Label
A Portela Mencia 2013 Front Label

A Portela Mencia 2013

Mencia from Spain
  • W&S92
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark purple. Powerful aromas of candied blackberry, blueberry and licorice, complicated by violet and cracked pepper. Lush, intensely flavored and smooth, offering spicy dark berry and cherry compote flavors enlivened by a subtle floral nuance. Finishes sappy and long, with resonating spiciness, a hint of licorice and chewy tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Valdeorras may be better known for godello, but this mencía is a standout. It comes from vines planted in 1970, the wine providing a beam of red cherry and wild berry flavor, the scents of fruit and flowers circling its vibrant acidity. Tannins needle the fruit from below, adding to the tension in the structure. Although Valdeorrras reds tend to be closer in style to the warmth of Bierzo, this one has a refreshing character more similar in feel to Ribera Sacra or Ribeiro.
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A Portela

A Portela

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A Portela, Spain
A Portela Ladera Sagrada soil Winery Image

A Portela showcases the special terroir of Valdeorras in a rare way, as the region is now known primarily for white wine production. Hailing from the A Portela subdistrict where red grapes can ripen on a rounded hiltop, this aromatic Mencia is a perfect introduction to the hallmark red grape of Galicia produced by the hands of a winemaker who wants to keep the past alive.

Mencia, the hallmark grape of northwestern Spain, wears many hats. Ranging from rustic and powerful to high-toned and elegant, it is a variety that clearly reflects its terroir. In this case, A Portela comes from DO Valdeorras, the “gateway to Galicia.” Beloved in ancient times as the only place the Romans found that could grow olives so far north on their supply line, Valdeorras is warmer than its neighbors to the west, shielded by mountains from the cold wet winds of the Atlantic. It’s also cooler than its neighbor Bierzo to the east, similarly shielded from hot Continental winds by mountains. While this area is best known for white wine production (particularly Godello), Valdeorras was, historically, home to beautiful reds as well. Winemaker Alberto Orte produces A Portela from a single vineyard, planted to high elevation slate and granite soils. This combination of elevation, soil and temperate climate makes for an elegant, mineral-driven Mencia that carries both generosity of fruit and spice and also precise, elegant acidity. Truly a unique plot, it’s no wonder that the A Portela subdistrict is nicknamed the Gateway to Heaven!

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Spanish red wine is known for being bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy, Spain is truly a one-of-a-kind wine-producing nation. A great majority of the country is hot, arid and drought-ridden, and since irrigation has only been recently introduced and (controversially) accepted, viticulture has sustained—and flourished—only through a great understanding of Spain’s particular conditions. Large spacing between vines allows each enough resources to survive and as a result, the country has the most acreage under vine compared to any other country, but is usually third in production.

Of the Spanish red wines, the most planted and respected grape variety is Tempranillo, the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Priorat specializes in bold red blends, Jumilla has gained global recognition for its single varietal Monastrell and Utiel-Requena has garnered recent attention for its reds made of Bobal.

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TGI15513_2013 Item# 133468

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