Mencia, the red grape of the Bierzo region in the northwest of Spain, is the same as Portugal’s Jaen. And it’s a grape I really like. Now this wine is one of my best value wines of the year – it’s a thoroughly delicious, fresh, reasonably complex red of great appeal. Buying like this is another sign that UK chain Oddbins is on the way up again.
El Cayado Mencia 2007 Bierzo, Spain
14% alcohol. This is from producer Martin Codax. Deep coloured, this has a wonderfully fresh dark cherry and plum nose with some savoury, gravelly notes. The palate is fresh and a bit grippy with lovely pure dark fruits. Beautifully focused with lovely balance between the sweet fruit and savoury freshness. A stylish, elegant wine. 91/100 (£8.99 Oddbins)