#1 Wine, Best In Show
Anyone who has ever seen photographs of the steep slopes of Ribeira Sacra will wonder how it is possible to produce a wine like this in our Value category -- but here it is, dark, fresh and thrillingly aromatic from first sniff to last swallow. This limpid, unoaked wine is made from the Mencia grape variety (known as Jaen in Portugal) plus a little Garnacha and Souson, and the emphasis is on its sloe, bramble and damson fruits in all their primary glory, almost as if it had been run from the vats just a week or two earlier. The palate is soft-textured, mouth-filling, exuberant and comely, structured more prominently by acidity than tannin, though that acidity is sweet and juicy in its own right. There is nothing at all sharp or hard about this tender, almost lip-smacking red … yet the variety itself, and the legacy of its austere, granite-soiled origins, somehow contrive to stop the wine tasting simple.
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