2015 Nanclares y Prieto Viticultores “Penapedre” Vino Tinto, Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain.
From an old vine vineyard in the Mino slope in the Ribeiro Sacra, the wonderfully layered 2015 Penapedre from Silvia Prieto and Alberto Nanclares of Viticultores Nanclares y Prieto, more famous for their gorgeous Rias Baixas Albarino(s) who have added a couple of Mencia based reds to their impressive portfolio, and they are really alluring efforts, especially this one. The Penapedre is a co-planted and fermented blend of mostly Mencia 60% along with 30% of Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) along with 10% of mixed black (and maybe a bit of Godello white?) grapes from a 100 year old all organically farmed parcel at a 60 degree angle/slope set on classic granite soils, this vineyard is hand tended and picked in small baskets, it faces south and southwest to get the most of the Galician sun, and allowing ripe flavors and refined tannins. The 2015, from a warm and lush vintage, comes in at 13% natural alcohol, it also allowed whole cluster ferments in a large 4,000L chestnut wood open top fermenter with traditional foot stomp crushing, native yeasts and low sulfur were used here with lees aging in a mix of five used French large cask of 300L and 400L sizes for about a year before racking to stainless tank, it was unfined and unfiltered. This old school Mencia based old vine field blend starts with lovely earthy charm, lightly perfumed with dark floral tones, truffle and spices to go with black fruits that all lead to a medium full palate of wild plum, blackberry, mulberry, zesty currant and black cherry fruits, as well as cracked green peppercorns, forest mushroom, roasted herbs, crushed violets, flinty mineral and gravel, anise and subtle/faint oak shadings. This vibrant and velvety red has a northern Rhone feel and style, but still uniquely it’s own wine and terroir with it’s juicy acidity that is more Pinot like in textural delicacy and grace, while remaining seductively exotic and feral, it’s beautiful Ribeiro Sacra, it joins recent exciting Mencia driven wines from the region like Guimaro and Laura Lorenzo’s Daterra Viticultores that have been shinning a spotlight on this historic area, these are amazing wines that really deliver chills and thrills, especially for those that either are looking for something new or are lovers of Burgundy, Cru Beaujolais and Northern Rhone wines. This wine will be hard to find, imported by Jose Pastor Selections, I am grateful to have got a few from Vinopolis Wine Shop in Portland Oregon as it is almost impossible to find in my own state of California, as Nanclares is a secret Somm favorite and almost none finds it’s way to retail outlets! Silvia Prieto, since joining Alberto, has got their red wine project rocking and is a talent to follow, plus do not miss their Nanclares Albarino, which are glorious and wonderful whites, think Premier Cru Chablis meets Emmerich Knoll Gruner!
($49 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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