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Losada’s 2009 Bierzo Mencia offers an alluring ruby red robe as well as a spate of intriguing aromas reminiscent of dark cherries, forest berries, Asian spices, and wild herbs. Amancio Fernández’s plush, racy Mencia also offers complexity and a depth of flavor rarely found in other Bierzo wines. Simply put, it’s hard to resist this caressing, juicy Mencia, which offers a healthy dose of pure, velvety fruit flavors along with subtle minerality and just enough tannin to assure several more years of ageing. Add deft touches of vanilla from 10 months in barrel and Losada’s Mencia begins to work its magic. From the first sip to the last, it’s evident that winemaker Amancio Fernández has done everything right with his 2009 Mencia. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording the 2009 Losada Bierzo 20-30 minutes of aeration before serving at no more than 65° F.
Although the vast majority of Bierzo’s Mencia wines are consumed at table, Amancio Fernández’s noble 2009 Losada Mencia needs little in the way of accompaniments. Given a bit of aeration, it will shine on its own. Nevertheless, a host of well-prepared dishes will only enhance the drinking pleasure. Why enjoy only half of the pleasure when you can have it all? Perhaps, the most traditional pairings with Bierzo’s Mencias involve lamb or pork. Pork and Green Chilies simmered with beans and herbs offers a lip smacking accompaniment to the 2009 Losada Mencia. Spicy lamb kebobs or garlic and herb rubbed lamb shanks that are grilled to perfection over a charcoal fire offer additional inducements to open a bottle or two of Losada’s Mencia. Spain’s wonderful sheep’s milk cheeses such as Manchego and Mahon work magic in the company of this wine as well, but then again so will most artisan cheeses. Buen Provecho!
Losada Vinos de Finca opened its doors in 2004 and remains the handiwork of the renowned Amancio Fernández. During the past decade Amancio has fashioned many of Bierzo’s greatest Mencia wines. Losada Vinos de Finca was founded in the heart of Bierzo by Amancio and his partners to craft the finest Mencia in all Bierzo. Ancient Mencia vines surround the estate’s ultra-modern winery. Moreover, all of Losada Vinos de Finca’s vines are cultivated organically, which strictly contains yields and assures the utmost elegance, balance and purity in Losada’s wines.
Unquestionably, Losada Vinos de Finca’s wines receive meticulous care. They undergo malolactic fermentation in French oak using natural yeasts, and barrel age to perfection. Losada is the eponymous winery’s flagship offering, a wine built to age gracefully for a decade or more. Vinos de Finca also crafts s El Pájaro Rojo, which acts as Losada’s younger, less intense sibling. It is fashioned for early consumption rather than extended ageing. If you have never tasted an Amancio Fernández Mencia, it is time you did.
Mencia is a red Spanish grape varietal found primarily in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras appellations of northern Spain. Although the Mencia varietal was once considered by enologists to be the direct ancestor and precursor of Cabernet Franc, recent DNA testing has shown that this is not the case. Mencia is likely related to Portugal’s Jaen de Dão (Jaen for short) grape variety, but evidence remains inconclusive. What we do know for certain is that Mencia vines have been cultivated for centuries in Bierzo.
Bierzo is a remote area of Galicia, Spain’s cool, windswept province astride the Atlantic. Certainly, it is the very isolation of the Bierzo that has allowed Mencia to survive and even thrive. Moreover, the average age of Bierzo’s hillside vines remains quite old, a fact which lends to the production of high quality wines. Consequently, the wonderfully fruity, spicy, and wholly intriguing Mencia varietal has recently been discovered, or rather re-discovered, by legions of modern wine drinkers. They are no doubt intrigued by Mencia’s viticultural attributes, which are accentuated by organic farming, low vineyard yields, and modern winemaking techniques practiced by Losada Vinos de Finca and other like-minded wineries.
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