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Bodegas Raul Perez Vico Mencia 2012

Mencia from Spain
    13.5% ABV
    • RP93
    • WS90
    • W&S90
    • RP93
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This wine has a miniscule total production of 125 cases. Of all of his remarkable wines, this is perhaps Raúl Pérez's best value. Vico is a village wine from the Valtuille de Abajo subzone of Bierzo. Made from dry-farmed (no irrigation) old vines that are head pruned. As with all of Raúl's wines, the viticulture is organic. The wine is made utilizing 30% whole cluster maceration before, during and after fermentation for 60 days. This wine will age for 20 years.

    Whether it's roast chicken, broiled pork tenderloin, lamb or bison burgers, or cod in a tomato sauce similar to Basque Bacalao, Vico will really shine with dishes prepared with savory spices and wild herbs. The Mencía grape has a characteristic green-leaf quality, a minty-menthol edge that Spanish winemakers often describe as "balsamic." They mean nothing to do with Italian vinegar but rather to a wine's character of refreshing spices like anise or fennel.

    Blend: 100% Mencia

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bodegas Raul Perez

    Bodegas Raul Perez

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    Bodegas Raul Perez, Spain
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    Raul Perez was born into a winemaking family, Bodegas Castro Ventosa, the largest owner of Mencia plantings in Bierzo. Raul grew up developing his ideals and worked at the family winery until 2003. His reluctance to compromise has made him both controversial and popular.

    Bodegas Raul Perez produces extra limited, handcrafted, artisinal wines from varieties such as Albarino, Mencia, Bastardo and Godello from northwestern Spain.

    Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.

    Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja also produces rich, nutty whites from the local Viura grape.

    Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.

    Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez.

    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.

    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. Mencia will also be a welcome accompaniment to any cheese platter.

    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.

    SKRSRP037_2012 Item# 146714