(2023) Raúl Pérez's has restored his old vineyards in Bierzo, Galicia, which is an area bubbling under with many people having discovered the quality of the wines made from the Mencia variety. The wine was fermented in oak vats that are ex-Vega Sicilia. Bold crimson in colour, there's a high-toned, medicinal edge to the aroma over solid red fruit. Is this a touch of Brett perhaps? In the mouth ripe but not too gloss, a nice authentic touch of rusticity to fruit and tannins. The finish is a little dry, which again makes me suspect a touch of Brettanomyces here that, for me, just detracts.
(2016) Serious bangs per buck in this excellent, and now six-year-old wine from the newly trendy Bierzo region of northwest Spain. It has a bit of earth and plummy richness and roundness, suffused with wild berries but a hint of smoky minerals too. It has a nice sheen of supporting oak to the fresh but full fruit on the palate, where the juicy and crunchy vitality is perfectly poised.
(2013) Lovely directness of fruit here: liquorice and a touch of leafy endive and dark herbs, a touch of roasted chestnut to the berry fruit. The palate has a similar, dry, juicy directness: the fruit is savoury and salty, a gamy edge to the berries in a distinctive, mouth-filling and relatively complex wine for its £6.99 offer price. £8.74, Majestic.
(2010) >From the up and coming Bierzo region of northwest Spain, this old vine Mencia is a dramatically dark colour and offers deeply-set aromas of black cherries, ground spices and a subtle, earthy smokiness. The palate is medium-bodied, and has an elegant black fruited juiciness. It is dry and savoury, with a light, liquoricy touch to the tannins and good acid balance, with a long finish that offers delicate spice and black fruits that intermingle very elegantly. Made by Martin Codax (who also produce the Burgans Albariño, and do not believe the Oddbins web site which says it is 100% Monastrell (Mourvèdre) - the label says it is Mencia, a specialist grape of Bierzo.