Mencia is one of those long-neglected grapes that is finally receiving attention because innovative winemakers are learning how to work with it. Indigenous to Northwestern Spain, especially in the Bierzo region, it has recently been found to be identical to the Jaen grape common in the Dão region of Portugal.
This bottling from noted importer turned producer Jorge Ordonez is outstanding at this price.
A mint and cinnamon bomb cohabitating with wild blackberry, it has a boisterous intensity out of the glass that is reinforced on the palate. Full bodied with charcoal wood notes riding in on the acid swell, the fine grained tannins ease you into a medium length finish showing a fresh mineral core with licorice highlights. It lays softly on the tongue but reverberates around the mouth like a hyperactive kid on a double espresso. Dark, roguish, and kinetic, an incredible value.
Aged for 10 months in used French oak.
Amon Tobin is dark and kinetic: