All wine reviews, Mencia, Red wine, Spain, Valdeorras

Avanthia Mencía 2009

Winery: Bodegas Avanthia
Winemaker: Amy Leigh Hopkinson from Australia
Grape: 100 % Mencía
Region: D.O. Valdeorras, Spain

See other wine produced by this bodega:

Avanthia Godello
This is a new project between the Bodegas Godeval and Jorge Ordóñez.

I am guessing that for the most wine drinkers (including me) the Spanish native grape Mencía is less known variety. It is often stylistically compared to Cabernet Franc.

Grapes for this wine came from estate owned, south facing hillside vineyards, one planted in 1938 and the other one planted in 1923. The vineyards are located in altitude of 1,804 ft above the sea level. Perhaps the special soil, composed from quartz and decomposed black slate may have an influence on the very pronounced, concentrated flavors of these old vines.

The grapes were hand harvested, using small baskets to prevent bruising and underwent another careful table selection at the winery. Just the healthiest grapes made the cut. Grapes were then hand basket pressed with fermentation in new French oak barrels and aged for 14 months.
Wine was then bottled unfiltered.

When I tasted this wine for the first time, it was also my first time with Mencía grape variety. Read my “Love affair with Avanthia” here. Since then, I have tasted more wines made from this grape. In my opinion, Avanthia is showcasing Mencía expression at its finest. It is at the category of its own.

Tasting notes:

Great aromas of dark fruit, cacao and oak hit my nose first, promising a gourmet experience. I wasn’t disappointed! This is an exceptional wine, full body yet not overpowering, with clean notes of dark and red fruit, spices and dust of bitter cacao.

Perhaps slightly more bitter than some well known big reds. That made it even more interesting for me. Velvety tannins are noticeable but not disturbing the enjoyment. As the wine opens up, you realize that one glass is not going to be enough. At least for me it wasn’t.

Long, seductive finish, returning the mouthful of bright, clean feel of fruit till the end. Beautiful, elegant and unique style of wine. It is already enjoyable while young, but it will age gracefully probably for at least a decade. Not like anything else I tasted before.

Dry – Off dry- Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: around $45.00

Ideal food pairing:

I loved this wine on its own, but also successfully paired it with Spanish Jamon and Manchego cheese. Any beef, lamb or venison based dishes would pair well with this wine.

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