This is an expressive wine that evokes menthol, cherries, crushed stones and roses. The palate is lush but defined, with the high-toned fruit and acidity coming through, and hints of dill and other green herbs mingling with the red fruit. Single vineyard. Read more..
Valdeorras is the eastern-most wine zone in the Spanish wine region of Galicia, in wet, Atlantic, north-west Spain. In addition to Valdeorras, Galicia includes the DO regions Rías baixas, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, and Monterrei. Valdeorras is warmer than its neighbors to the west, as it’s shielded by mountains from the cold, wet winds blowing off the Atlantic. Conversely, it’s cooler than its neighbor to the east, Bierzo, as mountains shield it from hot, continental winds. The mountains have also played a part in Galicia developing in isolation from the rest of Spain. It’s geographically and culturally closer to northern Portugal than to Madrid. Many of the locals are of Celtic descent and speak Gallego, a close relative of Portuguese. The white wines here also used to be similar to Portugal’s Vinho Verde, but the light, acidic, slightly effervescent style has become more substantial and serious with the recovery of indigenous varieties, particularly the white grape Godello which had nearly disappeared in the wake of phylloxera. The region is best known for whites (like the aforementioned Godello), but there are red grapes capable of making beautiful wines as well. A new wave of producers is replanting the steep, terraced vineyards with indigenous varieties, allowing the terroir to tell its story again.
The region has seen its share of boom & bust; in ancient times it was the only place the Romans found they could grow olives so far north on their supply line; wines were exported from here as early as the 14th century, but northern European merchants preferred the fuller-bodied wines from the Douro, and so the industry fell apart and the people relied upon a subsistence economy. Depopulation followed as people moved away to find work—fun fact: the terraced Port vineyards in Douro were constructed by itinerant labor from Galicia. The latest boom came when Spain joined the EU in 1986 and Galicia received a large injection of funds to transform its wine industry. And so here we all are, with a bottle of the fruits born of that endeavor.
This 100% Mencía wine hails from a single vineyard in the A Portela subdistrict where red grapes ripen on a rounded hilltop, known to locals as the “Gateway to Heaven.” The vines were planted between 1976 and 1990 on clay, granite, and slate soil at 500-700m (1640-2565 ft) elevation. Mencía can express itself in many ways, from rustic and powerful to delicate and graceful. Here, the combination of elevation, soil, and temperate climate makes for a mineral-driven Mencía that is both generous in fruit and spice, but also presents, precise, high-toned acidity. After picking the whole-cluster grapes do a five day cold soak in tank to extract color and flavor, but not tannins. Once fermentation has taken place, the skins spend another 10 days in tank before being racked. The wine is then aged for 12 months in stainless steel plus another 8 months in French oak barrels. It’s unfiltered, unfined, and vegan.
This is an expressive wine that evokes menthol, cherries, crushed stones and roses. The palate is lush but defined, with the high-toned fruit and acidity coming through, and hints of dill and other green herbs mingling with the red fruit. The tannins are fine, but present. Try it all kinds of mushroom-centric dishes, and with herb-roasted poultry, pork loin, or lamp chops.
This is an expressive wine that evokes menthol, cherries, crushed stones and roses. The palate is lu..
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