Grapelive: Wine of the Day October 30, 2016

2015lauralozenzomencia2015 Laura Lorenzo-Daterra Viticultores, Portela do Vento Red, Ribeira Sacra, Spain.
This Mencia based red from Laura Lorenzo is strikingly beautiful and seductive, absolutely one of the best new discoveries of the year! Lorenzo, after making highly acclaimed wines at Dominio do Bibei for almost ten years, has started her own projects and she might be compared to Arianna Occhipinti and or Elisabetta Foradori in some ways, focusing on organic farming and natural wines, creating pure expressions of terroir and letting her personality shine through in her wines, from everything I can tell this Spanish woman with dreadlocks is a badass winegrower. She herself is a great story, but certainly her wine is amazing too and this 2015 Daterra Viticultores Portela do Vento is gorgeously stunning with fresh detail, layers of fruit, mineral and spice with amazing purity and length. This is 90% Mencia and 10% Garnacha Tintorera that has been fermented with native/wild yeasts in concrete vats and raised unfined and unfiltered in used/neutral Franch oak hogsheads, it sees extremely low sulfur or SO2, the grapes, mostly de-stemmed, all organic come from steep terraces of south facing granite and sandy soils in the Ribeira Sacra, a narrow valley in Galicia originally discovered by the Romans to be ideal for wine production about 2,000 years ago. Galicia is now one of the world’s great spots for intriguing wines, both red and white with these Mencia reds and Godello based whites really standing out, they are filled with unique character and elegance, they rival Burgundy for complexity and beauty, with the Mencia based stuff having medium full bodies and vibrant acidity, reminding us of both the Cote de Nuits and the northern Rhone (think Saint-Joseph or even Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage) and what you get in quality terms is a remarkable value. This Laura Lorenzo Daterra Viticultores Portela do Vento 2015 starts with liquid violets, black rose petal, wild green, red and black peppercorns, cinnamon stick with blueberry, plum, black cherry and racy currant fruits forming a core as well as flinty stones and mineral, plus black salted licorice, lavender oil and loamy earth. This wine is decadently elegant, opulent and vivid, but has just 12.5% alcohol, and it has silken textures with ripe tannins and a lingering finish. A tiny 225 case production makes this a rare wine, imported by Jose Pastor Selections, this Laura Lorenzo Mencia is a worthy pursuit, drink from 2016 to 2024, this is awesomely sexy stuff!
($28 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive