Bodegas Avancia Old Vines Mencia 2019
A field blend from one of the oldest and most heroic vineyards in Valdeorras, Avancia Mencía Viñas Viejas is a small production wine that exemplifies the style of the reds of Valdeorras - ethereal, mineral, floral, lifted, but with a glass staining youthful concentration that sets itself from other Galician reds. As a northern oriented vineyard site, Aeiróa ripens patiently and late in the season, which allows the grapes to maintain high levels of acidity and balance. A percentage of carbonic maceration and stem inclusion brings a crunchy texture and lift to an otherwise powerful wine.
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.