| Our Price: $27.99 / bottle |
Case: 6 bottles
Case Price: $167.94
Mencia is a red grape with its home in north-western Spain, in the regions of
Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras.
Here it has traditionally been made into light, relatively fragrant red for early
consumption. In recent years, more concentrated and complex wines have
resulted from some winemakers’ new interpretation of the variety.
Our Mencia is the only block in the Hills, as far as we know. It’s on one of the most scenic sections of the beautiful Revenir vineyard at Lenswood: clay loam running across the crest of a hill at approximately 500 m above sea level, with great views (and exposure to ‘weather’…) to the south-west. The soil is shallow, which ensures moderate vigour vines. Mencia likes it here: it grows with attractive bright green foliage, and has demonstrated a capacity to develop large bunches of evenly-coloured, medium-large round berries. Our first crop was a few hundred kilos in 2015; in 2016 and 2017 we thinned those large bunches twice to ensure that we harvested a few tonnes of terrific fruit, in perfect condition. And from that we made a few hundred cases of wine.
The first set us a serious task this year, as at the 2016 Adelaide Hills Wine Show it won the trophy for the über romantically-named “Best Red Wine in classes other than Classes 9, 10, 11, and 12” (in other words: the best red wine that wasn’t made from Pinot noir, Shiraz, or Cabernet sauvignon, or wasn’t a ‘Bordeaux blend’). Were we excited? You bet! What a way to start our Mencia journey! We chose, of course, to follow in our own footsteps in 2017. We picked at a whisker under 13 baumé, did a subtle saigneé in the fermenter (don’t know what that is? Email email@example.com), pressed after just over a week on skins, and put some to barrel while keeping some in tank; before blending and early bottling in August 2017. Is the ’17 as good as that trophy-winning 2016? That’s a question we will let others answer (they did: it was pipped for the trophy but won Gold at the ’17 show), but it’s certainly very consistent in style, with the same drop-dead beautiful crimson colour, and emphasis on fresh, bright fruit (hints of white pepper, red cherries and red flowers…); carried on a medium-weighted frame which is taut, with lovely gravelly but gentle tannins. Onward and upward!
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
"Single vineyard release from Lenswood. Hand-picked, wild yeast, 8 days on skins, no new oak. It's red-berried and tannic, herbal and earthen, though mostly it's just itself. It's lightish but nuanced. It needs food, arguably, especially given the assertiveness of its tannin, but it's entirely successful and worth seeking out." 92 Points - James Halliday