Brezo Mencia 2017 Spain
It’s business as usual for Grégory Pérez’s entry-level Mencía, which again offers crazy value. This cuvée is comprised of Mencía with a small proportion of Garnacha Tintorera – aka Alicante Bouschet. Rockford fans will know this variety from the rosé that this producer makes from this variety. This comes from multiple parcels of 30-60-year-old vines dotted around the Bierzo highlands (Valtuille and Villafranca del Bierzo). At this altitude, the nights are very fresh, and the grapes retain plenty of cleansing acidity. Although it’s not the modern fashion to work with Garnacha Tintorera, Pérez prizes the variety for the brightness and crunch it adds to his wines. To produce something fresh and juicy, Pérez destemmed 90% of the fruit, fermented with wild yeasts in stainless-steel vats and then gave the wine a brief ageing on lees in both large cask and tank. Juicy and tangy, this is just a glass of deliciousness with loads of racy, cherry, peppery fruits. Think of quality Beaujolais villages but with more interest, and you’ll be coming close.