Bodegas Estefania Tilenus Roble Mencia 2017
100% Mencía from old goblet trained vines, 60-80 years of age.
Bodegas Estefanía was established in 1999 when the Frias family decided to recover an old creamery located in the village of Dehesas, in Ponferrada – Castilla y León. The name of its main line, Tilenus, was taken from the Celtic god “Teleno,” the equivalent to the Roman god Mars. The reason for naming the wine Tilenus was to pay tribute to the golden era of Romans in Bierzo, which began to exploit the rich gold mines of the Médulas. This era is etched on the wine labels with a Roman coin that was found in one of the vineyards. All this has led to a winery that produces exclusive wines in a traditional way, very carefully selecting each grape.
The region is El Bierzo, an enclave where you can find Bodegas Estefanía. In this valley bordered by mountains between León, Galicia and Asturías, 40 hectares of century old vines are surrounded by the silence of nature. A land marked by a continental climate and clear Atlantic influence which keeps a moisture balance due to the cool ocean air that extends from Galicia and is also moderated by dry warm air coming from Castile. These climates, along with its landscape and its mineral and clay based soils, produce a very special grape: Mencía, a red of excellent quality.
Winemaking Icon, Raul Perez has become producer with great influence on the new generation of Spanish winemakers. claims to have found a balance between early harvesting and long macerations (two to five months). This allows him to preserve acidity, extract and polymerize tannins through the use of natural oxygenation in oak. Pérez no longer uses cooling devices in his winery and his wines are aged either in foudres or used barrels. Raul is known as a free spirit – wine wizard letting the land speak for the what is in the glass.
One of the few northwestern Spanish regions with a focus on a red variety, Bierzo, part of Castilla y León, is home to the flowery and fruity Mencia grape. Mencia produces balanced and bright red wines full of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, baking spice, pepper and black licorice. The well-drained soils of Bierzo are slate and granite.
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.