Continental climate Mencia tends to be fuller-fleshed, with longer, softer tannins and more savoury juice. But don’t expect BIG wine as such, however. Bierzo is a hilly region with both relatively low lying farmlands and also some spectacular high country vineyards of very special smoky-mineral schist soils. In the past decade a handful of dedicated reformers, led by Alvaro Palacios and his nephew Ricardo, have taken old vines formerly given to production of forgettable co-op plonk and demonstrated that under very particular circumstances, Mencia can make truly wonderful wines – world class and beguiling.
Named after Alvaro Palacios’ father, Jose Palacios Remondo, this is an exciting project, producing wines of vivid fruit and wild herb, fragrant, intense-but-delicate. Cornas-like wild Syrah characters meld with perfumed, slippery-tannined juicy Burgundian aspects. Alvaro and his nephew, Ricardo Perez Palacios, have renovated amazing steep-sloped, very high altitude (600-1000 metres) old vineyards into biodynamic masterpieces.
Gorgeous, plush, elegant and floral – trademark roses and pepper tree perfume, bright and earthy. Savoury, elegant, satiny but dry, long and supple with sour cherries and dried sage.
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