Ribeira Sacra DOC
In the northwest of Spain, lies a winemaking region so challenging and so extraordinarily difficult to maintain that the locals call the working conditions "heroic viticulture". Indeed, the slopes are so steep (many on grades of more than 30%) that they look nearly vertically stacked, which makes the job of maintaining the vines and harvesting almost a superhuman endeavour of strength and ingenuity. No machines can be used here due to the nature of the slopes and, therefore, all work is carried out manually. At harvest, it's completely normal to see the use of ladders, troughs and even harnesses to access all the vines, making it one of the most unique wine-growing regions in the world.
In Ribeira Sacra, Mencia reigns supreme. The Atlantic climate, continental influence and stony soils are crucial in the growth cycle of this grape as it tends to flower early and ripen early. Some liken this grape to Spain's version of Pinot Noir while others compare it favourably to Loire Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged for 6 months in steel vats to preserve the freshness and natural acidity of the grape. The results: medium-bodied, high intensity of fruit, moderate alcohol and sweet, soft tannins. Predominant flavours are blackberry, violets, roses, pepper and earth with excellent balance, freshness and elegance. A smooth and fruity wine that benefits from decanting.
To be enjoyed with Manchego cheese, meat-filled empanadas, steak au poivre, mushroom risotto, grilled ribeye, Iberico pork, grilled duck. Really, almost any protein is in play, so let your imagination run wild on this one.