Have you met this grape?
The team at Majestic Ealing will be taking a look at various grape varieties over the coming months and posting articles on their store page. We’re posting their first instalment on the Majestic blog for all to see. Follow them here on Twitter to keep up to date with any new articles Majestic Ealing release…
This Month: Mencia
Although it rarely makes its way to the UK, Mencia has been used for wine-making in Spain for a number of years. Until recently it has been a case of quantity over quality, with high yielding vines producing light, relatively fragrant wines with no ageing potential. The good news is that the situation is rapidly changing and Mencia is beginning to be used to make unusual and interesting quality wines.
Mencia is predominantly grown in Ribiera Sacra and Bierzo, two sub-regions of Galacia, traditionally a very poor region of Spain. Today however the wine industry is beginning to flourish with the coastal region of Biaxas producing some excellent white wines from the floral Albariño grape. Ribiera Sacra and Bierzo are further inland, away from the cooling influence of the Atlantic ocean and therefore warmer and better suited for growing red grape varieties, and it is here Mencia is grown on steep vineyards made up of mainly schist soils where the vines are carefully managed to avoid yields becoming too high. This careful cultivation helps produce quality grapes and allows Mencia to fulfil its potential.
Majestic has a great example of the Mencia grape, the 2008 Pétalos Bierzo, Descendientes de J. Palacios, a balanced, aromatic wine with violet aromas on the nose and black cherry and cassis friut on the palate as well as subtle oak flavours. The wine is made by Alvaro Palacios, one of a group of winemakers who started producing world class wines in the Priorat region in the late 80s, and who is now succeeding in turning what was once an underused grape from a poor region in Spain into a fantastic wine.
*Price valid until 2nd May 2011