What is Mencía?

Mencía is a red grape variety from northwest Spain that has attracted significant interest in recent decades as enterprising winemakers revive old hillside vineyards with high quality, original results.

What does Mencía taste like?

Mencía may once have been dismissed for its light, rather astringent red wines, but it has become clear that when grown on hillsides with restricted yields this variety shows far more body and character. Mencía’s fragrant damson and blackberry fruit is often tempered with a distinctly savoury dimension of earthiness, spice, and cool, stony freshness.

Where is Mencía from?

Mencía may have established deep roots in northwest Spain but there is growing evidence to suggest its origins could in fact be Portuguese. DNA analysis has revealed that Mencía’s parents are Alfrocheiro and Patorra, from Portugal’s Dão and Douro respectively.

Where does Mencía grow?

Mencía is grown widely in north-west Spain, especially the regions of Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei and Valdeorras. As Jaen, the grape also plays a significant role in Portugal’s Dão region.

Famous Mencía regions:

  • Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei & Valdeorras, Castilla y Léon, Spain
  • Dão, Portugal

Anything else?

Mencía was long thought to be related to Cabernet Franc since the two varieties share some similar characteristics. However, DNA research showed that Mencía is in fact no relation of this Bordeaux grape but is instead identical to Jaen, a variety found across the border in Portugal.  

Our selection of great Mencía

- Descendientes de J Palacios, Bierzo
- Viñedos y Bodegas Pittacum, Bierzo
- Telmo Rodriguez, Valdeorras
- Dominio do Bibei, Ribeira Sacra


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