Algueira Pizarra 2014
Algueira's flagship Mencía comes from the oldest vines of the Estate, mainly from the sun-trapping, unbelievably steep, 80% slope of the Carballocovo vineyard. Here the vines have over 70 vintages behind them. Pizarra is a local word for the slate soils that seem to bring a pungent, smoky minerality to the wine. Nominated, by Jesús Barquín et al. in The Finest Wines of Rioja and Northwest Spain, as one of Galicia's top 10 reds, this is clearly one of the most inspiring Spanish reds (not to mention one of the very finest Mencía) wines that we import. It's fermented with 100% whole bunches and natural yeasts in 2,000 and 5,000 litre oak vats, followed by a long 60 day, post-ferment maceration. The wine is then foot stomped and matured in a combination of 225 and 600 litre oak barrels for 14 months. It is bottled without filtration. This is a deep and profoundly complex wine. There is certainly some seduction on offer as the wine offers fabulous (and complex) perfume and waves of fruit (ripe plum, smoke, fresh meat) across the palate. On the other hand there is other worldly intensity here and a deep, spicy inkiness that scents the mouth after swallowing. There is also plenty of fine powdery tannins and terrific length. Now all it demands is some serious food. It will certainly benefit from decanting and will be truly great with five to ten years in the cellar. Brilliant juice.
In a mixed or straight case: $94.99
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