Mengoba Bierzo Brezo Mencía 2019

  • Pérez's entry-level Mencía comes from multiple remote parcels of 30- to 60-year-old vines
  • Wonderfully aromatic, juicy and long.
  • On the palate, raspberry fruit is matched with elegant tannins.
  • 1 or more bottles
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Editors notes

Pérez's entry-level Mencía comes from multiple remote parcels of 30- to 60-year-old vines dotted around the slate-rich hillsides of Valtuille and Villafranca del Bierzo. The blend also takes in a splash of Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) for added brightness and crunch, but the hero here is Pérez's high-grown and chiselled Mencía fruit.

It's such a versatile wine, wonderfully aromatic, juicy and long, brimming with vibrant cherry and iodine notes. On the palate, raspberry fruit is matched with elegant tannins, the high-grown Mencía character shining through in a blend that also includes a small amount of Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouchet) that adds to the wine's freshness, structure, deep colour and perfume.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Chalk
    • Plum
    • Red Cherry
  • Palate
    • Chalk
    • Mineral
    • Red Cherry

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

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Spain is definitely one of the new-world players to keep an eye on. It is the land of old-vines, american oak and sherry! The main varieties grown in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) in the reds, and Airén, Viura/Macabeo, Verdejo and Albarino for the whites. Lesser grown whites include Palomino. Other reds successfully cultivated include Carignan, Mourvedre and Mencia.

Although Spain can be quite a warm country, the vast majority of vineyards are 600m or so above sea level, so the cooler nights allow the grapes to develop full colour and acidity.

Rioja is undoubtedly the long-standing king of all the Spanish wine regions, where Tempranillo and Garnacha are commonly blended. However more recently many more regions have come to the forefront of interest. Ribera Del Duero is producing excellent Tempranillo blends rivalling those coming out of Rioja. Jerez in the South is the home of the fortified wine Sherry.

Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. These include:

  • Denominación de Origen Calificada (formerly called DOCa) Priorat calls itself DOQ for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan and has a track record of consistent quality and is meant to be a step above DO level.
  • Denominación de Origen (DO)- Used for mainstream-quality wine regions. Nearly two thirds of the total vineyard area in Spain is within the boundaries of a DO region.
  • Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This is somewhat of a stepping stone to DO status.
  • Vinos de la Tierra (VdIT) - A level similar to France's vin de pays system, where the regions are much larger.
  • Vino de Mesa (VdM)- The equivalent of 'table wines' from France or Italy

Castilla-La Mancha

Castilla-La Mancha is a large wine region which lies south and east of the Spanish capital Madrid. Home to the world-heritage listed town of Toledo, the continental climate is hot and dry in summer and dips below freezing in winter, meaning that only grapes suited to harsh conditions do well here. Airen tops the list as the most commonly planted grape in Castilla-La Mancha, however a number of producers have expanded with plantings of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Alicante Bouschet (known as Garnacha Tintorera), Monastrell, Syrah and Bobal. Most of these grapes are used for the production of red blends suited to barrel maturation, although varietal wines are increasingly being produced in Castilla-La Mancha.

About the brand Bodegas Mengoba

Mengoba's wild, rural vineyards are at nose-bleed altitudes of up to 2500 ft above sea level. This is stunning country; a landscape of wild, natural beauty - a quality that we have found mirrored in the Mengoba wines. The patches of old, goblet vines here are strewn across small, isolated pockets, nestled amongst the densely forested high country. The only wine travellers you get up here are those wine fanatics chasing the artisanal, the esoteric, the blood of the mountain.

Bierzo is a region that totally missed the industrialisation that so much of Europe went through post WW2. It was too difficult to mechanise and there was simply no interest in the area until a clutch of winemakers realised the remarkable potential of the high altitudes, old vines and quartz and slate rich soils. French winemaker Gregory Pérez was one of those drawn to the area by the sheer potential of the remarkable terroir as well as the two principal, indigenous grape varieties of Bierzo: Godello and Mencia. Pérez had already become very well known for his work at Bodegas Luna Beberide, where he started over a decade ago, before launching his own project, Mengoba with the 2007 vintage. Since then Mengoba - an acronym of "Men" from Mencia, "Go" from Godello and “Ba” from Valenciana (the local patois for Doña Blanca) - has fast established itself as one of the region’s benchmarks.

Today, Pérez makes around 5000 cases of wonderful, high country-wines from a patchwork of vineyards in the hills of the Alto Bierzo. The vineyard work is absolutely artisanal; the vines are grown according to organic principles and Perez’s highest plot remains one of the Spain's few quality producing vineyards still ploughed by cow. As the authors of The Finest Wines of Rioja and North West Spain (Jesús Barquín et al) point out; this is a "name to watch."

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