Telmo Rodriguez Valdeorras Gaba do Xil Mencia 2014 Front Label
Telmo Rodriguez Valdeorras Gaba do Xil Mencia 2014 Front LabelTelmo Rodriguez Valdeorras Gaba do Xil Mencia 2014 Front Bottle Shot

Telmo Rodriguez Valdeorras Gaba do Xil Mencia 2014

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750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This bright, stylish red hails from Valdeorras (“Valley of Gold”) in eastern Galicia, aregion once famous for gold-mining andnow best known for its unique and complex wines made from the indigenous Godello and Mencia grapes. The wine is named forthe river Sil that flows through the region (Xil is its ancient name, used by the Celtic people who once inhabited the area). The river’s tributaries are flanked by vineyards, planted in terraces on steep slate hillsides. The label displays a dozen bridges, symbolizing the idea of crossing from one vineyard plot to another.

Soft, supple and silky on the palate, Telmo’s Gaba do Xil Mencia is highly fragrant and floral, with dried herbs and violets, as well as a trademark Mencia smoky meatiness.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The corresponding red 2014 Gaba do Xil Mencía also contains a small proportion of other grapes that are co-planted in the old vineyards. They use both their own grapes and grapes purchased from traditional growers. It also fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and was bottled unoaked. Mencía in stainless steel tends to produce some reductive wines that need some air. 2014 is a vintage that achieved better ripeness and good balance, and the wine shows a profile of wild berries and a leafy touch, with something earthy and a note of tangerine peel providing freshness and perfume. The palate also has some earthy, slightly rustic/dusty tannins, a profile that fits very much with the savage character of the place. This is one of the best quality to price reds from Valdeorras, and a wine produced in decent quantities.
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Telmo Rodriguez

Telmo Rodriguez

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Telmo Rodriguez, Spain
Telmo Rodriguez Winemaker Telmo Rodriguez Winery Image

Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain’s pioneer winemakers, advocating native grape varietals tied to the climates and conditions of their sites, and making world-class wines from undiscovered as well as known regions. Perhaps most impressive, while Telmo Rodriguez makes rare and limited wines of astonishing character and quality, his everyday wines have been equally praised, and widely recognized for the tremendous value they offer.

Telmo studied viticulture and oenology at the University of Bordeaux and was the winemaker at his family winery in Rioja, Remelluri, and then set off on his own in the early 1990s to discover new vineyards and regions all around Spain. He now makes a range of wines in diverse viticultural areas of Spain, with an emphasis on the following: vineyards biodynamically farmed, vines are exclusively bush-trained the traditional Spanish method, replanting only with varietals traditional to their regions.

Telmo was among the first to make significant wines in Toro, Rueda, Valdeorras, Malaga, Alicante and Cigales. In these areas he uses native varietals, often grapes rediscovered such as Godello, Verdejo, Moscatel and Monastrell which do not have wide recognition. With other classically recognized varietals such Tempranillo, Garnacha and Carignan, he works with vines that are indigenous and reflect the character of their particular site. As a result, Telmo has been one of the leaders of the quality revolution with these varietals in up and coming areas such as Toro, as well as in the traditional areas of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

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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.

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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.

TON98136_14_2014 Item# 390992

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