A Portela Mencia 2016, Alberto Orte, Valdeorras
Mind-blowing, nicely mature Mencia, from a single high elevation site on slate and granite soils in Valdeorras, ‘the gateway to Galicia’. So Pinot-esque yet distinctly Spanish too, with dried rose petals, cherry fruit and clove. Gently sappy, with orange oil, pencil shavings and wonderful buoyant acidity. It floats across the mouth- so graceful, and such poise.
A titan of the Spanish wine industry – introducing Alberto Orte! Oh, where to begin. He’s the guy, at the tender age of 24, who co-founded renowned US based Spanish specialist wine importer, Olé & Obrigado. A farmer, producer and historian all in one, he’s dedicated a huge portion of his life to exploring, identifying and preserving old varieties and clones, and has successfully identified a whopping 200+ old clones of Palomino Fino and Palomino Jerez and revived and re-planted over 20 grape varieties on the brink of extinction. As well as his projects in Jerez, Alberto also makes wine from extraordinary sites in Yecla, Rioja and as we have here, Valdeorras.
5 day cold soak in tank. Once fermentation has taken place, the skins spend another 10 days in tank, then racked. The wine is aged 12 months in stainless steel plus another 8 months in French oak barrels.