Ribeira Sacra

'San Pedro' Mencía 2020


This is a selection of fruit from San Pedro de Baños, a special sub-zone sector of the Amandi sub-DO. Here, the “soils” are slate with ferrous intrusions, quartz and mica. “Soils”? To the extent they are actually soil (most accurately, bedrock!), they are extremely shallow and nutrient-poor. As with Mundin, the mixed vineyards here are about 80% Mencía and 65 years old or more. Other varieties in the mix include Brancellao and Garnacha Tintorera. The wines are hand-picked, selected and fermented with 40% stems in 3,000L foudre and aged 18 months, then held another year in glass before release (Mundin winemaking is identical.)

Brighter, plusher red fruits, a touch of pure raspberry folds into Moroccan-spiced plums and forest floor vegetal nuances. Balances sweet and sour between compote fruit and a big dash of white pepper. The risk and thrill of life at forest’s edge beguiles. If Mundin is all horizontal, like drinking a horizon, San Pedro is deep and round. It’s simply the different ways that sweet-and-sour play out in distinct soils setting the scene here. More gamey to smell and taste, for sure, San Pedro’s tannins are more central here, and remain centred inside the spice-sour-edged earthy, savoury fruit, which is yet plush and fruitful. These are moebius strip wines, utterly coherent as they wander and swap between modes of fruit, earth and complex edges.