VINOS VALTUILLE | El Valao | Pago de Valdoneje | Mencía | 2018


We will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss our reviews. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations.

Today we are going to review a single-varietal mencía wine from Bierzo – a small rural region in the north-western corner of Castilla y León – El Valao Pago de Valdoneje Mencía 2018 by Vinos Valtuille. Mencía is a red grape variety grown widely in north-west Spain, especially in Bierzo, making quite perfumed and relatively light-bodied red wines. It contains high amounts of aroma compounds called terpenoids, which brings up lovely floral flavours and ripe, red fruits notes. This particular wine is made of grapes from 90 years-old vines and has been aged for 6 to 8 months in french oak barrels – a wine that has been also awarded 92 Parker points. That said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:

concentration: deep
colour: ruby
clarity: clear
hue/rim: purple


intensity: powerful
fruit profile: black fruits
__black fruits: blackcurrant | blackberry | black cherry | black plum
fruit character: ripe | overripe | dried

non fruit: spice | oak | earth | other
__spice: black pepper | nutmeg | cloves
__oak: roasted oakwood | cherry tree wood | cherry tree bark | black chocolate
__earth: black soil dust
other: dried black cherry | dried black plum | black tea | cherry tree sap
__wood: new / high roast

sweetness: bone dry
acidity: high
alcohol: high
tannin: high
__grip: firm
body: bold | full
balance: good
__dominant: alcohol
complexity: complex

fruit profile: black fruits
fruit character: overripe
non fruit: spice | oak
finish: long
aftertaste: seedy-rough

VINOS VALTUILLE | El Valao | Pago de Valdoneje | Mencía | 2018

variety: mencía
country: Spain
region: Bierzo
rating: 93.4

maturity: youthful | on the rise
verdict: great | a must try
96x96This is definitely a great wine of Spain and, with a total of 93.4 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Verdict: this is definitely one of the finest wines we’ve tasted so far – tannic, firm and muscular, with a nuanced fruity-oaky profile, grippy tannins and quite a touch of alcoholic burn on the mouthfeel. The wine tastes bitter-seedy, slightly rough and bold, with a full body and some nuanced crispness towards the end of the palate. All in all, this is a quite complex and well structured wine, with a very promising and potent future – a wine that definitely still needs time to round up and smoothen its sharp corners – drink it now or in the next 3 or 4 years. If you decide to store it for longer, just make sure not to overdo it, as once the wine starts its decline (to lose fruit and flavour at such a rate that acidity and/or tannins start to dominate the plate, making the wine taste sharp), there will be no way back. Cheers!
© The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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