James Suckling reckons this is the best wine from Bierzo and one of the best from Spain, and he should know. And points or not, this is one of those wines you can take to your sommelier friend’s dinner with utter confidence - arrogance even. Because you’ll know you’ve got your mitts on something that you don’t see much of in Australia, is so hot right now (Hansel-style) and is at once challenging as it is immensely enjoyable. The trivia you’ll need to reinforce your posturing: it’s made from 95% Mencía (‘men-thee-ah’), the other 5% indigenous Spanish varietals; the grapes are from an ancient, 100+ year old vineyard; it’s from Bierzo, in Spain’s northwest.
Other than that, pop the cork, give it some air and enjoy tasting it evolve. It’s a fascinating variety, and this example has everything from tar and roses to potpourri and Indian spices happening. It’s got lovely medium weight and crunchy acidity, draped with dripping cherry juiciness, ensure that you’re the life of the party.
“A very complex and deep-set wine from the outset. This shows a very impressive sense of purity, suggesting immaculate attention to detail in the vineyard. Dark stones and graphite with light, peppery nuances and a deep black-cherry core. The tannins are long, sleek and sexy, like crushed velvet. Long and fresh. Drink or hold.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 95% Mencía, 5% other local varieties
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
Bright violet color. Intense dark berry and violet scents are complemented by smoky minerals, Indian spices and potpourri. Fresh and expansive on the palate, offering sappy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter with air. The mineral quality recurs on the finish, which is framed by slow-building tannins that mesh smoothly with the wine's intense dark fruit.
Single vineyard planted in 1906. Planted on a mixture of clay, slate schist and loose stones.
Wine made only from a single vineyard named “La Bienquerida”. This vineyard has 3.5 ha and is planted with Mencía vines and others from unknown classification. Hand-picked grapes rapidly transferred to harvest reception in 20 kg. crates. Sorting table. De-stemming and light crushing. Alcoholic fermentation using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats with periodic pump-overs.
Hola! Spain, you big party animal, you. Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world. Spain is home to some of the most widely enjoyed grape varieties such as Tempranillo, Albarino, Garnacha, Verdejo and Monastrell. The wines are more affordable and they pair perfectly with Mexican food. So delicious foody wines at a good price? That sounds pretty good to us.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Balsamic tomato, chorizo and rocket fettuccine
- 400g dried fettuccine pasta
- 2 (125g each) smoked chorizo sausages, sliced diagonally
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 500g jar tomato pasta sauce
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 100g pitted kalamata olives
- 70g baby rocket leaves, to serve
- Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat a deep, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo. Cook, stirring until browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.
- Add onion and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender. Add tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in pasta sauce and vinegar. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 1 minute until slightly thickened.
- Drain pasta. Return to pan. Add tomato mixture, olives and chorizo. Season with pepper. Toss to combine. Top with rocket. Serve
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...