Mencia is one of those obscure grapes that is an absolutely joy to discover. It’s one of the few red grapes that grows in the cool, rainy northwestern parts of Spain. This bottle is a new purchase from Trader Joe’s that I’m drinking with pizza. The term ‘Roble’ is a recent development in the Spanish wine trade – it literally means ‘oak’, indicating that the wine has seen some oak aging, but not enough to qualify for the ‘Crianza’ tier – in this case, 3 months.
La Mano Mencia Roble (2010) Bierzo, Spain – $8
Aroma: bing cherry, cedar, and some licorice-earth notes.
Taste: easy up front with just some cherry and plum fruit, then building in the mid-palate with tannin and earth notes. Finishes with some tannin and heat – a crescendo all the way through. Definitely a food wine.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this. Mencia is still rare in the US, and to find a bottle for just $8 is worth it for the novelty value alone. This is a nice bottle for hearty fare and is worth a slot in your wine rack.