Ribeira Sacra

'Finca Meixeman' Single Vineyard Mencía 2015


At 400-450 metres' altitude, Miexeman is a 1.2 hectare plot of very old organically grown vines from a 'two-faced' vineyard: the larger part is relatively coolly oriented slate facing south-east; the other is warmer iron-rich granitic soil facing south-west. This 'heritage vineyard' was replanted after phylloxera in 1907 by Pedro's grandmother, using remnants of the site's own genetics which survived the pestilence. The grapes are foot-trodden, 40% whole bunch, 16 days maceration on skins and stems after wild yeast fermentation in open foudre. Very gently pressed, then aged 6 months in foudre and another 12 months in French barricas.

High, wide and open, the fragrant nose of wild cherry blue bell, rose thorn and balsalm is in a classic MencÌ_a 'agrodulce' register: sweet-and-sour, and really elegant. There's also tuberose, moss, cold damp slate and a whip of granite. The agrodulce repeats in the mouth, as a rim of tannin-acid organises the gently plush, open, amenable fruit, laced with samphire-like salted herb high note. A gorgeous, ever-so-slightly generous Ribeira Sacra, thanks to the warmth of the 2015 ripening season. It's gently earty and bright as the sky. A bill-steel cold dark tea line faithfully tells the black slate.