Algueira Pizarra 2014

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About This Wine

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.

Type Red Wine
Varietal(s) Mencia
Country Spain
Region Ribeira Sacra
Brand Algueira
Vintage 2014

Wines of Spain

With 2.9 million acres of land planted in wine grapes, Spain is the most widely planted wine producing nation and second largest producer in the world. Many styles of wine are produced in the country most of which are based on native grape varietals.

The two most famous regions are Rioja and Ribera del Duero for their Tempranillo production. Rioja Tempranillo (the classic) will be lighter and fresher with red fruit flavours as compared to those from Ribera del Duero that are often deep purple, higher in alcohol with more tannins and intense black fruit character. Rioja is also known for producing Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from the indigenous Viura varietal.

In the Catalonia region, Spain is recognized for making a sparkling wine in the traditional method but using native grape varieties. This is called Cava. Priorat, a subregion within Catalonia specializes in making still red blends of Garnacha, Carignan and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in a bold and full-bodied style. Together with Rioja, wines from Priorat have achieved DOCa/DOQ status signifying their quality.

Sherry is Spain’s famous fortified wine which can either be completely dry, lusciously sweet or somewhere in between. This is made in the southern region of Jerez.

Other notable Spanish wine styles include: Monastrell (AKA. Mataro/Mourvèdre), produced in the Jumilla region and refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo from north western Galacia.

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