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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bargain Wine of the Week: 2008 La Mano Mencia Roble

La Mano Mencia Roble is another of the 12 wines we purchased that had been rated 90 or better by a wine magazine but cost us less than $10. See our post about the wines we bought. This one was less than $8.

The Bierzo region in Northwestern Spain is not one of the country's well-known wine regions. It is home to the Mencia grape, one that we'd frankly never heard of. That's probably why a highly rated wine costs so little. The red Mencia grape so closely resembles Cabernet Franc that the local synonym is "Cabernet."

After some airing we discovered that this wine drinks much like a Cabernet Sauvignon. It's crimson color is deep, but the wine is not inky at all. We thought it smelled a bit of coffee, but the winery insists it's an earthy note. Either way, it keeps the wine's blueberry hints from being too fruity.

This is not a complex wine, but we had it with ribs and a pasta with heavy garlic on successive nights and it danced quite nicely with them both. The spiciness of the wine cut through the Bar-B-Q sauce and the heavy garlic.

Robert Parker gave this little-known gem a 90 and said it "has extraordinary depth and concentration for its humble price. We agree.

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