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2013 Triton Mencia 

Bierzo, Spain

Retail $14

The already-popular Bierzo, in a mountainous area of northwestern Spain is gaining followers as red wine enthusiasts discover the Mencia grape, which is often compared to cabernet Franc and pinot noir. The grapes are related to Portugal's jaen du dao varietal and likely were planted by travelers from northern Portugal. A project of Jorge Ordonez, who is responsible for exporting many top Spanish wines, this award-winning bottling offers distinctive flavors and excellent structure. Forty-two acres of vineyards are planted at 1,660 feet elevation on mountainside plots, mostly in slate soils. The climate is affected by the Atlantic coast and summers are warm and dry. In the cellar, the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and transferred to used 1- to 3-year-old French oak barrels, comprised of 70 percent Burgundy and 30 percent Bordeaux casks, for 10 months of barrel aging. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of dark berries, tobacco notes, some earthiness and minerality. On the palate, taste black currant, sour cherry, cassis, a hint of licorice, peppercorns, spice and firm tannins. Decant 45 minutes before serving. Drink it with roast lamb, charcuterie, veal, beef, game and poultry. Buy it at: Martin Wine Cellar. Drink it at: Cane & Table.

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