Admittedly, my three exposures to the lovely, delicate Spanish red wines made from the Mencía grape constitute a limited sample range. But if the ones I have tried are indicative of what’s possible with this grape, Mencía may be the answer for those of us who love the fragility and refinement of Pinot Noir but wish the prices could be less daunting.
By the glass for $12 at Rivera, the pan-Latino restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, Viña Reboreda Mencía Ribeiro 2008 hinted at sassafras, tobacco and chocolate around its central thread of haunting berry flavors. The best thing, though, was the balance. It had acidity, but it wasn’t sharp, and it had delicacy without veering into the wimpy range. It tasted great with a series of small plates. 89 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Spanish wines made from Mencía.