2011 CVA A Portela Mencia Valdeorras
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From vineyards planted in pure granite soils, the 2011 A Portela is an amazing, unoaked, naturally made 100% Mencia. Opulently styled with copious notes of blueberry liqueur, crushed rocks, spring flowers and a hint of camphor, it exhibits fabulous intensity, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, superb ripeness and an ethereal lightness in spite of its intensity and richness. This stunning effort from Jose Luis Murcia should be drunk over the next 5-10 years.
If Mencía is the most exciting Spanish red grape variety to have become popular over the past decade or so, then the heart of "green Spain," Galicia, and its D.O.'s of Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras have surely been the drivers of this trend. Given the variety of slate and granite based terroirs, typically on steep hillside slopes, as well as a new generation of vignerons excited to work these challenging yet rewarding vineyard sites, these wines have never been better. A Portela shows lots of dark cherry fruit, intense and chewy yet with balanced freshness as well, and terrific minerality. It's a lovely mid-weight red to pair with grilled sausages, chicken and even grilled salmon or tuna.