Description 1 of 2
Common synonyms: Cabernet, Jaen (Portugal), Loureiro tinto, Médoc, Mencía pajaral, Mencía pequeña, Negra, Negro
Parentage of the grape: As the list of synonyms indicates, it was thought for a long time that Mencia was related to Cabernet Franc. However, it was proven in 2003 that this is not the case.
History of the grape: Mencia is native to northwestern Spain and was once thought to be a clone of Cabernet Franc that was brought there by pilgrims traveling along the Camino de Santiago. This is not the case. Perhaps its roots are really in Portugal, where it is known as Jaen.
Characteristics of the grape: red and dark berry fruit, occasional vegetal character, can be savory, with good acidity and tannin.
Regions where the grape currently is important: Ribeira Sacra, Bierzo, and Valdeorras
Type or types of wines the grape produces: The Mencias of Ribeira Sacra are lighter, brighter, fresher, and often more mineral-driven. The grape thrives on the steep seaside slopes of the area. In Bierzo, it has a rounder, riper expression and is sometimes oaked. It’s all a matter of preference.
Description 2 of 2
Mencia is the name of a red grape varietal native of El Bierzo. Introduced and cultivated mainly in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula since the days of ancient Rome. It recovered from the phylloxera epidemic disaster of the late nineteenth century that caused a severe economic crisis in its traditional areas of cultivation. Mencia is used to produce aromatic and fruity wines with intense color and with great ageing capability.
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