As time passes, I am learning to appreciate more the flavors and nuances of Mencia. When Mencia is grown in granite and schist terraces from appellations like Valdeorras, it can develop pure black fruit notes verging towards a peppery and violet bouquet. It brings to mind a Syrah from the Northern Rhone such as Cornas or Cote Rotie.
Telmo Rodriguez is a well known Spanish winemaker. He is famous for making wine in some of Spain’s best terroirs. They include: Pago la Jara in Toro, Matallana in Ribera del Duero and Altos de Lanzaga in Rioja. These are some of the icons in the Spanish wine scene.
His latest project is in Valdeorras, even though it was the first region he visited in the early 1990s. After travelling several local towns, he formed a strong impression, especially after the encounter with a grower who still pruned his vines using an tool from the Middle Ages. Telmo believes that the meeting with the grower motivated him to work in the region.
The vineyard where he started is called La Falcoeira, in the town of Santa Cruz. It is an ancient vineyard, coplanted with a mixture of varieties, but Telmo Rodriguez has focused its on two native varieties, Godello and Mencia. Dotted with chestnut trees mixed with rockrose, the old granitic terraces barely have minimum space to squeeze in the odd row of vines, following the waves of the mountain that lead into the River Sil.
Gaba do Xil Mencia 2013. SAQ # 11861771. $19.00
Aromas of dark fruits with olives, herbs and confit violets. Brings to mind a cote rotie rather than a mencia. On the mouth, full body, with a good fruit extraction. Fresh and velvety in the mouth. Love its cured meat and barnyard aromas. Long with a caressing finish. Food Idea: Bison hamburgers with swiss cheese and mushrooms-onions. 93/10
Gaba do Xil Godello 2014. SAQ # 11896113. $19.55
Aromas of Japanese pear with green apple and citric fruits. On the mouth, medium body. Refreshing and round, almost a creamy texture. Flavors bring to mind nuances of white balsamic condiment and ground fennel seeds. Nice mineral moutfeel. Harmonious finale. Food idea: Linguine with clams. 95\100