Mencia is a Spanish grape that is having quite a resurgence. An ancient variety originating from the cool and mountainous North West area of Castilla y León.
Often grown on steep slopes or terraced vineyards, this indigenous Spanish variety was left largely to local consumption until fairly recently. That was until some of the winemakers in the area decided not to let this fabulous piece of vinous history fade away.
These winemakers took on some abandoned vineyards and convinced other local growers to invest time, money and effort into producing high quality Mencia grapes. The wine world responded and these wines are now highly sought after and can attract very high prices.
In Australia it was first championed by Oliver's Taranga in McLaren Vale. Winemaker Corrina Wright already had experience and success with other Spanish grape varieties.
This week we received two of their Mencia wines. The Small Batch Mencia and their 'Chicca' Mencia Rosé. The Small Batch is medium bodied, red fruited and with a complex bouquet of violets and dried herbs. The Rosé is light, delicate and dry. Subtle watermelon and raspberry flavours give way to a long savory finish.