So, here is another one of my wine picks. I was happy today to see several black boxes with red paw prints come in to the store, because I knew this was Cuatro Pasos, a wine I have enjoyed quite a bit in previous vintages. For those of you not familiar with the Mencía grape, don't worry; you're not alone. This is kind of like Spain's answer to Pinot Noir. What I mean is that the wines are generally light and refreshing, but not lacking in character or concentration. Mencía is grown in several places, but Bierzo in the province of León in the Northwest is where it has made its best reputation (admittedly still small, but if you read Eric Asimov or one of several other prominent wine writers and bloggers, you've probably at least seen its name). So, as I am always urging people to get out there and try new things, this is a great chance for me to tell you about one in particular that you might not have tried. And, even if you have had some Mencía, you might want to give this one a shot since it's one of the better ones I have had that is reasonably priced.
About the wine: The nose shows bright, fresh red berries with some herbal, minty character and a little dusty earth. There are also some spices evident, white pepper and something more exotic that I can't quite put my finger on. I really like the aromas.? It almost smells like an imaginary combination of 3/4 Pinot Noir and 1/4 good Chianti. Flavorwise, there is more of the same. The blending of fruit, spice, and subtle earth gives the wine some good dimension without being so complex that I feel obligated to give it a great deal of attention. This is a wine that at its base is delicious, and offers just enough layering to make it interesting. Something I am happy to sip on with or without food and I think will please a wide range of palates. I can say that confidently because I have sold this wine before and found quite a few people coming back for more.
What's great about this is that we're selling the wine for $12.99 NET. I think it's great for that price, and I will definitely drink a few in the weeks and months to come. It's in stock at River Street. Thanks for reading. If you've ever had Mencía, or if you try it soon, please comment with your thoughts, even if it's just to say whether or not you liked it.