Vinos de Arganza 2015 "Seculo" Mencia, Bierzo

Vinos de Arganza 2015 “Seculo” Mencia, Bierzo

A small winery that has a laser-like focus on the Mencia grape. This is one of several they produce, much of whom have earned critical praise. These include the brands Flavium, Encanto, Legado De Farro, and Lagar De Robla.

The grape itself has a long history and thrives in the green northwest of Spain and Portugal (where it’s known as Jaen) It was (wrongly) believed to be the grandparent to Cabernet Sauvignon until DNA tests disproved that hypothesis. It’s an understandable enological mistake. It’s structure, flavors, and aromas can easily be mistaken for the eldest member of Cab’s family tree: Cabernet Franc.

While some Mencia bottles go toward structure and rusticity, this one goes for dark, round, and fun. Jammy fruit flavors and Hershey milk chocolate hit on the aroma and the palate. And there is plenty of oak-driven spices to tickle most people’s fancy. A soft note of juniper and sea smoke cool down  into a delightful finish. This bottle absolutely crushes with grilled  Merguez-style lamb sausages.