Northwest Spain’s increasingly fashionable Mencía grape produces red wines in a variety of styles depending on the soils in which it's grown, the age of the vines and, among other things, whether it’s aged in oak.
This new wine, from vines around 20 years old in clay and decomposed schist in Valdeorras, easternmost Galicia, is very much at the lighter, fresher end of the spectrum, making it ideal for drinking cool in the summer – Spains’s answer to Beaujolais or a light red Bourgogne, if you like.
It’s unoaked, bluish ruby in colour and smells and tastes of crushed raspberries streaked with white pepper, minerally earth and a pinch of smoked paprika and its crunchy fresh acidity outweighs any tannin.
The producer, C.V.N.E., is one of Rioja’s great names and is still run five generations later by direct descendants of the two brothers who founded it in 1879. It’s been pronounced ‘coonay’ since an early typo, hence the brandname Cune.
Try pairing it with bressaola, charcuterie, spinach and feta tart or spinach banitsa, tomato tarts, seared tuna or salmon, lamb scottadito or a herb-crusted lamb rack, or cheeses such as young (Semicurado) Manchego. 12.5%. Empty bottle weight 392g.
Cune Mencía 2022, Valdeorras, Spain