A Portela Mencia 2015  Front Label
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A Portela Mencia 2015

  • JS93
  • WW91
  • RP90
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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3.9 95 Ratings
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3.9 95 Ratings
750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Mencía, the hallmark grape of Northwestern Spain, is capable of a wide spectrum of style. Grown in Valdeorras, A Portela showcases the high elevation, minerality and generous sunshine of this storied appellation.  A core of red fruit, with distinct mineral and floral notes and impressive persistence and length. 


Pair this wine with roasted poultry and meats, mushroom dishes, and fatty fish like tuna or salmon.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Fragrant crushed-rose and lighter cherry aromas here with a very fluid, even and plush palate. Fine, yet powerful tannins. Dark stones and spices. Plenty of detail. Drink or hold.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: The 2015 Alberto Orte A Portella is a focused and lively red wine. TASTING NOTES: This wine offers black fruit, slightly rustic, and mineral aromas and flavors. Pair it with pan-fried lamb chops. (Tasted: July 6, 2020, San Francisco, CA)
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The red 2015 A Portela was produced with Mencía grapes matured in French oak barrels for eight months and 20 more months in stainless steel, plus one more year in bottle. So, they offer this red almost five years after the harvest, which means the wine is developed and polished. It's quite ripe and time has given it more tertiary aromas, meaty and smoky with a hint of soy sauce, and the palate is round and juicy and combines ripe flavors with some acid berries that give it a bit of a spark. It goes more in the direction of a Northern Rhône than a Burgundy.
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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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Just to the south of Bierzo, the steeply terraced Valdeorras Spanish wine region is a respected source of both red and white wines. Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) and Mencía are the principal red varieties while Godello and Palomino compose the majority of this region's whites.

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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. And yet Mencia once suffered from a poor reputation and deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. Post-phylloxera growers would grow this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. Somm Secret—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.

CHMAOV3501015_2015 Item# 613611

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