Feature Wine

Agustí Torelló Mata
Cava Kripta DO Gran Reserva
Spain, Penedes, Cava
$83.50 / bottle

Feature Restaurant

London, Central

TWC Blog

Here we'll provide you with information to help you discover incredible wines from around the world. Join us on our travels and learn more about our latest finds. We'll also share with you tips and tricks for selecting, storing, and enjoying your wine.

Posts Tagged ‘General Wine Info’
Everyone is talking about Mencia
Sunday, January 18th, 2015

LosadaYou may have recently noticed some buzz around a little Spanish grape called Mencia (pronounced men-thee-a). This varietal is not new, in fact, it’s been planted in the Bierzo region of northwestern Spain for centuries and is thought to be a long-lost relative of France’s Cabernet Franc (see below). The reason for the recent buzz is that this grape is now being turned into some top quality wines. Mencia has a fruity and delicate tasting profile with great ageability. We also find it is a really versatile food wine.

According to Jancis Robinson et al (Wine Grapes, 2012, Harper Collins) Mencia probably came from Salamanca (in Bierzo) but it was not mentioned in the area until the late nineteenth century, after the arrival of phylloxera. It has been discovered (by DNA profiling) to be genetically identical to a grape called Jaen that is cultivated in Portugal in Dao, and considered native to that region.  The theory is that pilgrims on their return trip from Santiago de Compostela would have taken Mencia cuttings back to Dao.

The suggestion that Mencia is related to Cabernet Franc — that French pilgrims brought cuttings from France on their trip to Santiago de Compostela — has been ruled out by DNA studies. It makes agood story, but not a true one.

You can find Mencia from other regions in Spain such as Ribiera Sacra, Monterrei, and Valdeorras, and it is also authorized in Rias Baixas. However we find the best examples come from the old vine sites in Bierzo. Here the vines are planted on deep schist soils and yields are naturally low and the resulting wines more dense and concentrated.  We currently work with a high-quality producer of old-vine Mencia from the Bierzo DO — Finca Losada. The 2010 Losada Bierzo just returned to stock as part of our Consignment Program, and we now have an entry-level Bierzo called El Pajaro Rojo. Both come from old vines; the 2013 El Pajaro Rojo has spent less time in barrel.  The 2009 Altos de Losada again in the fall, and by early Spring the rare La Bienquerida.

Getting the Respect…
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

le-rive-di-ogliano cropped

For centuries, Prosecco “the grape” has been cultivated in the Province of Treviso in northeastern Italy. There were several distinct varieties of the grape and the name may have come from the village of Prosecco in the Province of Trieste (according to Jancis Robinson). It is one of the most widespread varieties in the Veneto region and is cultivated mainly to make the highly popular sparkling wine also called “Prosecco”.

However since quality varied between producers and regions,  the vines growing around the hills of Conegliano were deemed to be superior and so the wines from these vineyards were elevated to DOCG status. In 2009 the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene  DOCG was established, and all sparkling wines from the flatter areas (in nine Provinces) became Prosecco DOC.  In an somewhat confusing extra step, the Consorzio that promoted Prosecco to DOCG and expanded the DOC area also officially changed the name of the grape to Glera (its Friulian synonym) and reserved the name Prosecco for the designation of origin. This change, however, prevents any other region or country from taking the name Prosecco to designate a sparkling wine.

With the change of status to DOCG, many producers changed the way they bottled and presented their wines. Our Masottina Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry, for example, now comes presented in a elegant and larger bottle (image shown is for “Le Rive”, the vintage-dated Prosecco).