One Wine A Week – 2011 Adega Vella Ribeira Sacra Mencía

Several months ago, Tala and I were discussing my waning wine consumption. There is only one in my household who drinks wine, and I was finding myself dumping a lot of wine down the drain because I couldn’t keep up with the open bottle. Now don’t get me wrong – I drink a lot of wine in general. At dinners, at tastings, at wine bars, etc. I just wasn’t opening a ton at home, which is kind of a shame. So Tala challenged me to drink one wine a week. And I’ve been keeping true to that, going through some older inventory from storage, and staying on top of my Winelandia subscriptions – you know we’re club members too! Which brings us here. A recurring weekly series cleverly titled One Wine A Week.


This week’s wine was the 2011 Adega Vella Mencía, from Riberia Sacra. 100% Mencia, and 100% natural Spanish red.

Night opened: Monday

Days to drink: 3 nights, 2 days total (finished while writing this post!)

Paired with: whole wheat pasta with fresh mozzarella and doctored up, home-canned tomato sauce, baked with breadcrumbs on top. And padron peppers on the side.

This wine was a lot less rustic than I was expecting, which is a nice thing. I’ve become accustomed to Spanish reds that are in our area of preference (minimal intervention, focus on sustainability, good stewards in the vineyard and the cellar, etc.,) to be a little… rough around the edges. Maybe a little lacking in integration, or even a bit harsh. This wine is super fruity, delicious, and much more elegant than I thought.

It paired surprisingly well with my dinner of what’s in the fridge/on the shelf, though it wasn’t perfect. What would you pair with padron peppers, anyway? I’m not sure. However, the glass I had just by itself last night on the sofa was delightful. It had opened up nicely, with great flavors of cherry and bright, juicy fruit, but it wasn’t overwhelming or over-extracted. That was definitely its moment in the sun.

If I were to open this again (and you still can! There’s some in the shop right now!) I would do so, decant it – or pour it back and forth a few times between two large vessels – and then enjoy a glass of it on a warm evening. I often shy away from opening red wine “just to drink” because so many of them are overpowering, and knock you in the face or the teeth or the stomach. I usually just want something pleasant and easygoing in my glass. This was exactly that, in a red wine, and very worth the price.