Monday, April 23, 2012

Viña Barroca Mencía Tinto 2010 Bierzo 13.5%

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Sunset in the vineyards of Bierzo. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2011 / / 

Northwestern Spain. Bierzo is mostly north of the small city of Ponferrada, just outside of the entrance to Galicia.  
Bierzo is often referred to as "The Fifth Province of Galicia."

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Bodegas Adriá Viña Barroca Mencía 2010 Bierzo

Bodegas Adrià Viña Barroca 2010 ($15). A dark, juicy, lively mencia from Bierzo. The wine is unoaked, which lets the intense fruit shine through very nicely.  - - Colman Andrews, The Daily Meal.  Read more: Spanish Wines — A Seductive New Crop: Godello, mencia, and other less-than-famous Iberian grapes shine in a new selection from Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes

The grapes for Viña Barroca come from 25 hectares of 30-60 year old goblet-pruned vines grown on steeply inclined sloped in the areas of Vilafranca del Bierzo, Valtuille de Arriba and Pieros that are owned by growers who strictly follow the criteria required by Bodegas Adriá.

The soil composition of the vineyards is quartz, clay and slate, the altitude ranges from 450 to 100 meters above sea level, the rainfall in this Atlantic-dominated climate is 722mm per year (about the same as Bordeaux) and the average high temperature in summer is about 80 degrees.

The bodega, which faces northwest and overlooks a stretch of the Camino de Santiago with its perpetual parade of pilgrims treking across nothern Spain, is in very close proximity to the vineyards, so during harvest the grapes arrive at the winery shortly after being picked. 

Diego Losada, winemaker at Bodegas Adria. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2011 / /

Viña Barroca is made by young Diego Losada, who apprenticed under renowned winemaker Gregory Pérez (Bodegas Mengoba), himself a disciple the great winemaker, Mariano García, who made the wines at Vega Sicilia for 30 years and now owns Bodegas Mauro, Paixar in Bierzo and other wineries.  Gregory Pérez is also a contracted advisor to Bodegas Adriá and developed Viña Barroca Mencía with Diego Losada. They are also working to develop a Viña Barroca Godello, which will be available soon. Gregory Pérez is showing himself to be maestro with white wines at Mengoba. 

Gregory Pérez, Bierzo. 
Photo: Gerry Dawes©2011 /

Chosen because of its exceptional price-quality ratio, Viña Barroca Mencía 2010 is one of the relativity few wines from the Bierzo that not fallen into the high alcohol, over-oaked fashion that predominates in the region. 

Tasting Note

Viña Barroca Mencía 2010 Bierzo

This still very young wine, which spends 4 months on its lees in stainless steel and 4 months in bottle before release, benefits from contact with air and continues to improve over the course of the bottle.  Good with grilled and roasted red meats, charcoal-grilled lamb chops, chorizo, rice dishes, pasta dishes, pizza and cheeses

The color is deep pomegranate-like black ruby.
The nose shows pomegranate-cranberry fruit typical of Mencía-based wines.
On the palate that depth of pomegranate fruit battles for prominence with striking minerality, which makes this wine very reminiscent of a serious Loire Valley cabernet franc-based Chinon, though the minerality comes from quartz and slate, not calcareous soil as in the Loire.   

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