This wine pays homage to the medieval monastery that anchors the steep mountainside vineyards high above the village of Barco de Valdeorras. The complex fruitiness of the Mencia grape combines with the distinct flinty minerality derived from the slate soils to create a unique wine. Flavors of dark plums and blackberries are accentuated by an exotic spiciness. The luxurious palate is balanced by long tannins on the elegant finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Vibrant aromas of raspberries, blackberries, thyme, oregano and orange zest. Licorice and cloves, too. Medium-bodied with soft tannins and bright acidity. So fresh, juicy and alive. A joy to drink now.
Glistening ruby-red. Lively, spice-tinged cherry and cassis aromas show sharp definition and a complementary hint of violet. Juicy, focused and lively on the palate, offering dark berry and bitter cherry flavors that put on weight with air. Fine-grained tannins add subtle grip to a long, taut finish that echoes the spice and berry notes.
The nose of the red 2018 Cuveé de O Mencía shows notes of ripe berries despite being only 13.2% alcohol. It also has notes of violets and tar. It is roughly 90% Mencía and the rest a field blend of Garnacha Tintorera, Mouratón, Gran Negro, Sousón and Cariñena from old vines. It has notes of sour cherry and a bitter twist. It fermented in 5,000-liter flextank and matured in neutral 225-liter French oak barriques for eight months, during which time it also underwent malolactic. It has a medium-bodied palate with dusty tannins and pungent flavors.
Hints of spice and medicinal herb lace the plum cake and dried fig flavors of this round, medium-bodied red, featuring lightly juicy acidity and a lingering touch of anise on the finish. Drink now
Bodegas Avancia lies snuggled in the slate dominant mountainsides of Valdeorras, high above the Sil River. Named for the extensive gold mining that the Romans conducted in this area, (Val-de-Oras roughly translates to Valley-of-Gold in Latin) Valdeorras is home to the finest terroir for growing two of Spain’s most important indigenous grapes – Godello and Mencía.
Jorge was the first broker to introduce Godello into the United States, and for many years, was the only merchant offering a wine made from this unique grape. Jorge always dreamed of having his own Godello project, and Bodegas Avancia is the result of this dream. Bodegas Avancia produces the finest Godello wines in all of Spain.
In 2016, Robert Parker, Jr. stated “One of my favorite wineries in Spain is Bodegas Avancia. This is a small estate of roughly 23 acres, dry farmed (a characteristic of all of the selections of Jorge Ordóñez), with organic viticulture. Their specialty is working with the Godello grape, which may well be Spain’s finest indigenous white grape. It has the texture of a Chardonnay, but with crisp, mineral and floral notes in its aromatics. Avancia is certainly the top producer of this intriguing and delicious dry white.” Jorge also selected D.O. Valdeorras due to its unique conditions for growing Mencía, Galicia’s most important red grape. The combination of slate soils, high altitudes, old vines, and warmer climate compared to the rest of Galicia provide Valdeorras with the best terroir for growing Mencía.
Primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras regions of Spain and in the Dão of Portugal (where it is called Jaen), Mencia is an early ripening, low acid grape that can produce wines of great concentration, complexity and ageability. And yet Mencia once suffered from a poor reputation and deemed capable of producing simple and light red wines. Post-phylloxera growers would grow this variety on low, fertile plains, which produced high yields and uncomplicated finished wines. Somm Secret—The recent rediscovery of the ancient, abandoned vines planted on rugged hillsides of deep schist has unveiled the potential of Mencia and added discredit to its old reputation.