After the sold-out-in-one-month success of our first tiny little foray into the world of Mencia Rose in 2014 (all 900 bottles of it), we decided that maybe we were onto a good thing. Maybe, there is a place in this world for a delicious, dry rose- made from a grape that is completely unheard of in Australia to date!
Mencia (pronounced men-THEE-ah) is a variety that is traditionally grown in Bierzo (pronounced Bee-erth-oh), a small region in the north-west of Spain. A region where grapes have flourished since Roman times, interest in the indigenous spanish variety Mencia has been on the increase over the last decade. Producers such as Descendientes de J. Palacios have reinvigourated passion in Mencia, producing ethereal wines at very high prices from their ancient vineyards and some of these wines caught my eye.`
Fast forward to 2015, we decided that the vines are still a little bit juvenile, and that only a small portion was of the right quality level to make a dry red Mencia (see a post at a later date to tell all about this exciting little 150L project). With the praise from the 2014 Chica Mencia Rose still ringing in our ears, we embarked on a larger scale dry rose for 2015.
We handpicked the fruit, with the help of Sydney Sommelier Samantha Payne and the almost the entire Oliver’s Taranga team. Then we did some foot treading, in perhaps not the best occupational health and safety conditions. The vineyard boys got all excited and popped the bins of grapes onto the truck before we had done out treading. So, up onto the truck we climbed :/
Then we popped some dry ice and sealed up the bags for a bit of carbonic maceration on skins, and popped them into the cool room. After a couple of days on skins, we popped the Mencia into the basket press, pressed the juice off the skins, and fermented the juice in stainless steel.
A couple of weeks in ferment, a bit of lees stirring, settled, off to bottling and BAM!- the 2015 Chica Mencia Rose is born! A little more colour than the 2014, but still with that lovely spicy, watermelon & floral nose, and a delicious crisp, dry palate. Enjoy!