Telmo Rodríguez


'Lexítimo' Mencia de Paraje Lugar Valbuxán 2019


Valbuxán is an ancient lugar or pazo (one term castellano, the other galego, for a ‘place’, or sub-valley zone). Back in the day, this estate high in the mountains was an agro-mix of pasture and vineyards. It has an old cellar which for many years was home to all the wines of the area. Derelict into the 2010s, Pablo and Telmo purchased the land and the cellar, which they completely renovated. It’s now their facility to make and store all the wines they nurture in valley of Santa Cruz. Here the organise wines from Santa Cruz, As Ermidas and O Bolo and release them as ‘Lexítimo’ – gallego for legitimate, original, authentic, indicating this as a wine expressing a historical purity of place.

Lexítimo is a superbly fluid, deep and supple Mencia (from old field blends of Brancellao, Sousón, Merenzao and Garnacha Tintorera). Low-yielding (3.5 tonnes/hectare) old vines imprint the fruit with great depth of tannin and fantastic mineral energy and line. It’s aged in a mix of foudre and barrica, and about 6,000 bottles are released.

Where to start with this beauty? Well, let’s just say we think it is a perfect, striking exemplar of Mencia’s best attributes. Smoky, a touch meaty, purpled fruit with tonnes of spice, soy, peppercorn husk and a zip of fresh dirt energy. Mid-weight at most, it has delightful roundness and sits happily in the mouth for a nice long look. Tannin ripe but fairly light in glyceric terms, it’s utterly comfortable with itself and so should we be. Utterly delicious!