Mencia, the wine you never tasted

mencia wines Spain
Six delicious Mencia wines from Spain

Six Mencia Wines from Spain

Mencia Wines

Mencia is the Spanish grape you likely have never heard of. The Mencia grape and vineyards are mostly in the region of Beirzo and Ribera Sacra in the northwestern part of Spain. In the past, Mencia wine has had a dubious reputation. But in recent years, Mencia has been making a name for itself. A new generation of winemakers is redefining the character of Mencia wine.

The excellent Mencia vineyards are older and have small yields per acre. The quality vines are on Schist and Granite soils. Hillsides are the ideal terrain for the Mencia grape.

Blind tasting six Mencia wines

The Vintage Tasters gathered last Thursday to blind taste six Mencia wines. These are the wines we blind-tasted and the order in which we scored the wines. All of the Mencia wines are available at K&L Wines.

  • 2016 Raul Perez La Vizcaína Las Gundiñas – Bierzo $21.99
  • 2016 Raul Perez La Vizcaina “La Poulosa” – Bierzo $25.99
  • 2017 Raul Perez “Ultreia St-Jacques” – Bierzo $17.99
  • 2017 Losada – Bierzo $19.99
  • 2017 Bancales dos Mosteiros – Ribera Sacra $17.99
  • 2017 Algueira Joven – Ribeira Sacra $18.99

We enjoyed all of these wines and found them to be similar in style. The 2017 Raul Perez “Ultreia St-Jacques” at $17.99 is the Best Buy wine of the bunch.

Why you should try a Mencia wine

The Mencia wines are medium-bodied wines with a delicate balance of acidity and complex flavors. Mencia is an excellent food wine. Vintage Wine Taster Mike paired the wines with a beautiful dish of Spanish-style chicken and rice. 

As we tasted the Mencia wines, descriptors mentioned were complex, Pinot Noir-like, peppery, earthy, mighty, and Cabernet Franc-like. In short, we enjoyed the flavors and the characteristics of the Mencia wines.

As a wine aficionado, one should always try varieties of wine that are not mainstream. Stay ahead of the curve and try some Mencia wines. Check the Wine-Searcher to find where Mencia wines are in your area. Enter your Zip Code and distance from your home to see if any Mencia wines are near you. 

Who is Raul Perez?

You may have noticed that the top three are from the winemaker Raul Perez. Raul Perez is a leading winemaker in the wine region of Bierzo. Raul’s winemaking influence is widespread in Bierzo. He is a champion of the Mencia grape.

On a side note, I came across a wine blog by Randy Caparoso of Lodi Wines. Randy describes the first Mencia wine made in California. The wine is from the PRIE Winery and sells for $33. Has anyone tried this wine or other Mencia wines?

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