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Bodegas Avancia Cuvee de O Mencia 2015

Mencia from Valdeorras, Spain
  • WS92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Cuvée de O Mencía represents the minerality and authentic, clean, varietal expression of the Mencía variety from Valdeorras. The goal with this wine was to produce a wine that expressed the primary bright-red fruit character of the old vines of Valdeorras, and the minerality present in the slate soils. Beautiful, very transparent color. Young, light, and delicate, very fruity.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Espresso, sanguine and gamy flavors give this firm red a savory character, but there’s a core of plum and currant fruit. Offers a good balance of firm tannins, balsamic acidity and dense texture.
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Bodegas Avancia

Bodegas Avancia

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Bodegas Avancia, Valdeorras, Spain
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Bodegas Avancia lies snuggled in the slate dominant mountainsides of Valdeorras, high above the Sil River. Named for the extensive gold mining that the Romans conducted in this area, (Val-de-Oras roughly translates to Valley-of-Gold in Latin) Valdeorras is home to the finest terroir for growing two of Spain’s most important indigenous grapes – Godello and Mencía.

Jorge was the first broker to introduce Godello into the United States, and for many years, was the only merchant offering a wine made from this unique grape. Jorge always dreamed of having his own Godello project, and Bodegas Avancia is the result of this dream. Bodegas Avancia produces the finest Godello wines in all of Spain.

In 2016, Robert Parker, Jr. stated “One of my favorite wineries in Spain is Bodegas Avancia. This is a small estate of roughly 23 acres, dry farmed (a characteristic of all of the selections of Jorge Ordóñez), with organic viticulture. Their specialty is working with the Godello grape, which may well be Spain’s finest indigenous white grape. It has the texture of a Chardonnay, but with crisp, mineral and floral notes in its aromatics. Avancia is certainly the top producer of this intriguing and delicious dry white.” Jorge also selected D.O. Valdeorras due to its unique conditions for growing Mencía, Galicia’s most important red grape. The combination of slate soils, high altitudes, old vines, and warmer climate compared to the rest of Galicia provide Valdeorras with the best terroir for growing Mencía.

Valdeorras

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Just to the south of Bierzo, the steeply terraced Valdeorras 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.

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.

Food Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

EPC37765_2015 Item# 303202