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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:
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
body: bold | full
fruit profile: black fruits
fruit character: overripe
non fruit: spice | oak
maturity: youthful | on the rise
verdict: great | a must try
This 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!
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