Armas de Guerra Tinto 2014
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This wine here is a terrific example of the 'New Bierzo'. Tradition, history, old vines and modern technology join together to create a balanced, complex Euro red. Made from the local grape of Bierzo named Mencía, Armas de Guerra Tinto is produced from vines planted between 1955-1965 at 550 meter elevation with calcareous clay and slate soils. This unoaked red is a perfect 'tinto para tapas' making it delicious with Spanish-inspired appetizers such as Serrano ham, Manchego and Tres Leches cheeses, potato and egg tortillas and bite-size Spanish meatballs. Or serve with grilled and roasted lamb dishes, fig & olive oil marinated Pork loins or rustic bean and lentil soups with chorizo. By the way, we are not exactly sure why the brand name means Weapons of War but it looks like the labels feature ancient farming tools for grape growers to do everything by hand...anyway the labels look pretty cool and what's in the bottle is utterly amazing especially for the price!
There has been alot of buzz lately around this little Spanish grape Mencia (pronounced men-thee-a). This variety is not new, in fact, it has been planted in the Bierzo region for centuries and is thought many people to be a long-lost relative of the Cabernet Franc grape from France. It does indeed share similar flavor profiles and food pairing similarities, but DNA studies have ruled that theory out. Anyway, the reason for the recent buzz is that the ancient Mencia grape is now being produced by a newer wave of savvy, educated growers and the wines are competing with top quality wines from around the globe. Mencia has a fruity and delicate tasting profile with healthy tannic structure for aging and it is super versatile with food. According to Jancis Robinson et al (Wine Grapes, 2012, Harper Collins) Mencia probably came from Salamanca (in Bierzo) but it was not mentioned in the area until the late nineteenth century, after the arrival of phylloxera. It has been discovered (by DNA profiling) to be genetically identical to a grape called Jaen that is cultivated in Portugal in Dao, and considered native to that region. The theory is that pilgrims on their return trip from Santiago de Compostela would have taken Mencia cuttings back to Dao.
|Brand||Armas de Guerra|
VinousSupple and gently sweet on the palate, offering sappy boysenberry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of smokiness. Shows very good focus and power on the sweet, seamless finish, with building tannins adding shape.
Wine AdvocateA good value from Bierzo, this 100% Mencia (another of Spain's indigenous grapes) is 100% unoaked, having spent eight to ten months in concrete tanks prior to bottling. Loads of minerality emerges in the 2014 Armas de Guerra Tinto, which is definitely blue-fruited, moving toward darker raspberries in the mouth. It=s dark ruby in color, pure, crisp and again, seems like a ripe version of a Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, even thought there is nothing in the DNA of Mencia to suggest any linkage. The wine is fresh, lively and best drunk over the next several years.