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Bodegas Avancia Valdeorras Mencia 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
Calling the far western appellations of the Iberian Peninsula home, Mencia was once deemed capable of producing only simple and light red wines. But post-phylloxera, growers restricted plantings of this variety to fertile plains, which naturally led to 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 the old claims. 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 ripener and generally low acid grape capable of producing wine with 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 fruit dominant while in the more serious versions, any significant amount aged in new oak, may add hint of dark chocolate or vanilla.
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. Mencia will also be a welcome accompaniment to any cheese platter.
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.