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Off the beaten track Spain



Definitely at it best after 2-3hrs in the decanter @Juan. All cherries & brambles. Quite a short finish though and not much complexity on this occasion.


Fabulous stuff! I definitely need to re-try Lupier.


Agree that the Gaba do Xil is lovely wine, but sadly it seems to be no longer available.


I had a bottle of the Baba do Xil 2016 a couple of weeks ago and I must say it was one of my favourite vintages. Very fine wine!


So here is a new northern Spanish wine in the Society portfolio. I had it last weekend and I must way I was a bit disappointed. It was almost too thin and lacking the mineral depth that Mencia can offer. Anyone else tried it?


While we are talking Godello. I have tasted two last weekend from Rafael Palacios and was blown away by one of them. The price is stratospheric though…

As Sortes 2015 - It was very good, satisfying if predictable.
O Soro 2015 - This was out of this world. Savoury, good balance of fruit and acidity, very long. Like nothing I have tried before.

There was also a Mencia on offer from the same enomatic 2-3 weeks ago - Peique Luis Peique 2010 - which was also extraordinary. Just extraordinary complexity that can be achieved with this grape.


I had it once before (I think purchased from M&S or Majestic- can’t remember), and like you- was well disappointed by it. Not just the thinness of it on the palate, but the lack of any memorable fruit flavour, and what seemed a short finish. I preferred this one (from Majestic):


I’m glad it wasn’t just my opinion. I think the Society has done better in the past with their selections from that region.


Rafael Palacios wines can be great, but as @szaki1974 points out there are different levels of quality and some can be rather expensive. I haven’t heard of Luis Peique, I should look it up!

And as we refer to wines outside the Society offer, for me the top Mencias and Godellos come from Ribera Sacar and in particular from Guimaro, Fedellos de Couto, Envinate and Dominio de Bibei. They show great complexity, but like many good things, there is not that much of it going around. The region is really hard to work due to the silly steep vineyards so most locals prefer to migrate to the cities instead of working the land.

From Guimaro the best wine I have tasted was a 2010 Finca Capelliños that the winemaker took from underneath his bed (true story).

A 2002 Lalama from Dominio de Bibei at Arzak in San Sebastian showed what these wines can achieve, it was not far away from a good Cote Rotie. Their whites are also rather fine stuff.


Fantastic article by Eric Asimov in the NYT about Comando G and the emergence of the Gredos mountains. I recently visited the area myself and I was astonished at the amount of ancient abandoned vineyards around. The are is packed with old vine garnacha. In my opinion, a region to keep an eye on in the near future.


Just been told the the Society has no plans to restock the Jimenez Landi Bajondillo, which is a real shame. A beautiful garnacha and ridiculously good value.

Edit - a bit of digging around online, it doesn’t look like Jimenez Landi are even making Bajondillo anymore, their cheapest wine these days is the El Corallon


“Lesser-known” regions of Spain make up about 30-40% of my drinking, I’d say.

Particular favourites are mencía from Ribeira Sacra and Bierzo (and merenzao from the former), mountain garnachas from the central mountains, whites from all over (esp Galicia and Catalonia) and just about anything from the Canaries.

Btw, Finca Millara make a drop-dead gorgeous field blend with the semi-legendary :grinning: Raúl Pérez called El Probibido. Fabulous wine for less than 10 euros. Foillard eat yer heart out.

Unfortunately little of all this is available over here. I have to order it from Vinissimus (which will obviously become impossible should the brexit disaster go ahead).


I’ve just taken delivery of a Frank Massard mencia, looking forward to trying it :+1:.


Btw I was also disappointed by the entry-level Guimaro that TWS had a while back. I don’t really think you can get good stuff at this price point, given the terrain and production methods. The Guimaro single-vineyard wines are lovely, though.

Having said that, Ribeira Sacra mencia is a completely different beast to the stuff from over the mountains in the Bierzo. It shouldn’t taste “thin”, but it is very much an Atlantic wine and never a full-bodied one, and who’d want it to be? Certainly not me.

Best Burgundy substitute around in my book, with only xinomavro competing (similar quality at Etna is a lot more expensive, and the cheap wines don’t do it for me).