I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today.  Nothing was inspiring me.  I was tired of Rose and White wines, and I just feel like big red wines are hard to talk about too much when its 100 degrees out.  Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of the typical "summer" reds like Pinot Noir or Gamay.  So, I was having some trouble figuring out what to feature this week.  I was walking around the shop for a little inspiration and came across today's wine.

Spain is still an undervalued and underappreciated region for wine.  The prices for everyday wines up to the high-end wines are way less than their counterparts from other countries.  You can get wines that already have 10 years of age and they are the current releases from wineries.  They also have wines that get amazing scores and still do not charge an arm and a leg for.  

When I wanted to talk about a red that was more of a summer red, this wine jumped off the shelf at me and I remembered when I tasted it a couple months ago.  The Matilda Nieves Mencia is a blend of 85% Mencia, 8% Garnacha and 7% Souson.  These are all very traditional grape varieties in Spain.  Most people have probably heard for Garnacha, also known as Grenache in other countries, but the other two grapes are probably fairly new to most people.  This wine is full of lots of juicy fruit flavors.  Raspberries and blackberries with light notes of licorice abound.  It is round and complex with soft touches of tannin providing a persistent finish.  It would even be great with just a slight chill to bring out even more of the fruit flavors.

I usually don't give too much thought to scores.  It mainly just tells you that some person really likes a wine, or someone paid off someone to give it a big score.  I much prefer to tell a person to drink what they like and not what someone else says is good.  However, scores do help sell wine and so I will always tout them if they got them.  This wine was given 97 points by Decanter and was their "Best in Show".  Not too shabby for a wine that costs under $15!

So, during these hot summer months, when you really want a red, but also want something that is refreshing.  Give this Mencia a try!  It is a great alternative to Pinot Noir with much more body and complexity without being over whelming like Cabernet.  Also, do not forget about Spain!  The value you get from those wines are second to none.

 Matilda Nieves Mencia 2020 - 750ml

-Patrick Mulrooney

By Patrick Mulrooney 0 comment


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