Well, well, once again, I find myself gravitating toward Spain for my pick. I have said it many times, Spain puts out some of the best values in the world right along with Portugal and southern France. This particular pick is made from a grape that not a lot of people are familiar with; Mencia. Mencia reigns in the region of Bierzo in northwest Spain. Mencia is also known as Jaen in Portugal, fueling the debate as to whether it originated in Portugal or Spain. For a long time, the wines that were produced from Mencia were not of high quality. Things are different today as wineries are putting out some serious Mencia reds as this month’s pick is an example.
2020 Ribas del Cua Mencia (Bierzo, Spain)… $10.
Aromas of black plums, boysenberries, earth and leather with hints of black olive and blueberries. Ripe plum and blackberry on smooth tannins with a kiss of white pepper on the finish. The ripe fruit notes are balanced nicely by notes of worn leather, iron and black olive notes. Blueberry notes lie underneath on the mid-palate into the savory, earthy finish with black olive notes lingering on the back end. If you’re going to try Mencia for the first time, this is an excellent choice to see what this varietal is all about. A lot of wine for the money. (B-/B)