Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: *** $ La Mano Mencia Roble, 2006, Bierzo, Spain - BEST VALUE

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Original Review, July, 2009: La Mano Mencia Roble is a dry red wine made from the local Mencia grape. This version is from the 2006, harvested from vineyards in Bierzo, Spain, in the northwest portion of the country. The wine was aged for three months in American oak - which will lend a firmer oak "hand" in a finished wine. Alcohol comes in at 12%.

In the glass, La Mano Mencia Roble is deep burgundy red, moving to opaque away from the edges. Served immediately after opening, upon swirling, the aromas are bold of black cherry and oak.

On the palate, there is a smooth, full, deep middle of minerally cherry. The oak note is definitely there as well. Acids seem to battle with the smooth middle, not really balancing it. Tannins appear light indeed. Pleasant enough, though seems a bit jangly and ragged overall. Not sure that extra time would help, given the absence of a strong tannin backbone.

Two stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its aromas and overall pleasantness. Robert Parker of Wine Advocate awarded 90 points, which makes him a fair amount more enthusiastic than was I. Decent value at its price.

Updated review, two years later, now five years from vintage date, July, 2011:  Consistent color and aroma. Sports a slight old-world feel.  Dry, mineral red cherry still sets the tone on the palate, with no overbearing acid. Knitted together now, still creating a solid, good value, medium body experience. Following long decant, full day kept at cool room temperature in partially filled bottle: Sweeter cherry on the nose now.  Tannins help bring the elements together now on the palate, yielding a bold, balanced and powerful mid-red experience, with surprising power at only 12% alcohol.  Now just touches three stars and becomes a best value.

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