Bodegas Avancia Cuvee de O Mencia 2017
Cuvée de O Mencía represents the minerality and authentic, clean, varietal expression of the Mencía variety from Valdeorras.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The smoky and meaty red 2017 Cuvee de O Mencía is the old-vine cuvée, mostly Mencía, but in the old vines, there's always a small percentage of Garnacha Tintorera, Mouratón (Juan García), Gran Negro, Sousón, Cariñena ... perhaps coming up to 10% of the volume. It fermented in flextank with uncrushed berries and neutral yeasts and matured in used French barriques for eight months. It transported me to the slopes of the Northern Rhône, as it feels like a juicy unoaked Syrah, with some grainy tannins and enough of everything to stand up to hearty food. Very tasty. 18,000 bottles. It was bottled in July 2018.
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.
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.