Armas de Guerra Mencia Tinto 2014

guerramncia

Winery: Don Antonio Guerra founded Vinos Guerra in 1879, making it the oldest winery in the Bierzo region of northwest Spain. Today the estate’s 2471 acres of vineyards are one third of all the vineyards Bierzo. The winery is known for its highly selective processes of only using the best 10% of grapes, which translate into wines with consistent “extraordinary quality”. The estate also possesses “the oldest and most precious Mencia and Dona Blanca vines in the Bierzo region”.

Winemaking: All of the vineyards are dry farmed and cultivated using only organic methods. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with calcareous clay and slate soils, planted in 1955-65.

Tasting Notes: Dark red violet in colour with aromas of cherry, spice, sweet rose and a hint of mint. Fruit forward with cherry, raspberry and blackberry underscored by fresh, herbaceous notes and a shake of black pepper. A streak of chalky minerality joins black cherry on the wonderfully dry finish. Not just an engaging sip, this is a fantastic value well worth seeking out.

100% Mencia
Bierzo
Spain
Bottled by Vinos Guerra
13% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now thru 2017

Vinos de Arganza Flavium Premium Bierzo 2008

mencia

A phenomenal value, glugable jammy fruit wrapped around a velvety core of toasted oak spice.

Estate: Vinos de Arganza is a family estate owned by Victor Robal and his wife, Ángeles Varela, who can trace her family’s winemaking traditions back to the 15th century. The estate is located in the El Bierzo region of northwest Spain and contains nearly 4000 hectares of vineyards.

Winemaking: Aged for 20 months in French and American oak.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of black current and toasted oak. Blackberry, black cherry and dense raisin flavours harmonized with sweet and spicy toasted oak along with herbaceous traces on the lengthy finish.

100% Mencia
El Bierzo
Spain
Elaborado y Embotellado por [Produced and Bottled by] Vinos de Arganza
13% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now thru 2016

Rated 90 points by Robert Parker

Armas de Guerra Rosado 2013

toro

Toro NYC

 

A fantastic year-round Rosé with crisp, clean flavours that are a great match with light dishes.

Winery: Vinos Guerra was founded by Don Antonio Guerra in 1879, making it the oldest winery in the Bierzo region of northwest Spain. Today the estate’s 2471 acres of vineyards are one third of all the vineyards Bierzo. The winery is known for its highly selective processes of only using the best 10% of grapes, which translate into wines with consistent “extraordinary quality”. The estate also possesses “the oldest and most precious Mencia and Dona Blanca vines in the Bierzo region”.

Winemaking: All of the vineyards are dry farmed and cultivated using only organic methods. The average vine age is 50 years. Grapes for the Rosado were sourced from vines in river stone and clay soils at nearly 2000 ft in elevation planted in 1958-68. Aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of wildflowers and traces of pink peppercorn. Cranberry and apple flavours were supported by a bright acidity, whilst fresh citrus and clean mineral notes elongated the dry finish.

Recommended Pairing: Salads, light pasta and rice dishes [from the winery]. I enjoyed it with soft goat cheese, quince chutney and grilled bread and it was absolutely fantastic.

100% Mencía
Bierzo
Spain
Bottled by Vinos Guerra
13% Alcohol
$12 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2015

Alvarez de Toledo Mencia Roble 2009

toledo

Concentrated, pleasant flavours, a decent value and an agreeable [albeit slightly generic] companion to everyday dishes.

Estate: With over 500 years of consecutive family history behind them, the Alvarez de Toledo family has numerous accomplishments, notably beginning in 1472 when Count Don Garcia Alvarez de Toledo was granted the title of Duke of Alba by Henry IV of Castile. Jump to 1514 when Pedro Alvarez de Toledo founded the family’s lengthy tradition of winemaking. The estate is located in a valley in the mountains of northern Spain, and is now recognized as a World Heritage Site and World Biosphere Reserve.

Winemaking: The vineyards are located in a unique, mild and humid microclimate. The Mencia grape is thought to be indigenous to the region, and through multiple generations of vine selection, the family has culled “the most suitable variety for producing red wines of great character”. Aged for 10 months in American and French oak.

Tasting Notes: Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of strawberry, oak and traces of cigar box spice. Concentrated black cherry leads to a dense finish of white peppercorn, vanilla and dried strawberry notes.

100% Mencia
Bierzo
Spain
Bottled for Alvarez de Toledo Vinedos Y Grupo Bodega, S.L. by R.E. 8466/LE00
13.5% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now

Rated 91 points by Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate