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PREMIUM

Spanish Mencía: Panel tasting results

The midweight, fruit-focused and chillable reds of this northwestern speciality grape have really risen in prominence in the four years since our last panel tasting, and this set of encouragingly strong results shows why.

Sarah Jane Evans MW, Beth Willard and David Williams tasted 58 wines with 5 Outstanding and 29 Highly recommended.

Spanish Mencía: Panel tasting scores

58 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 5

Highly recommended 29

Recommended 23

Commended 1

Fair 0

Poor 0


Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release Mencía red wines, incorporating single varietal wines or blends with a minimum 85% Mencía, from any region in Spain.

Mencía is the aromatic, elegant star of northwest Spain. Our tasting notes summed the wines up in a flurry of appealing adjectives: vibrant, pretty, flinty, graceful, pomegranate, redcurrant, red- fruited acidity, youthful.

In the past few years Mencía has travelled far from its original role as a niche regional variety. Today it can take centre stage among Spain’s red varieties, in distinct contrast to the traditional image of Tempranillo. The northwest has other equally fresh and crisp red varieties, but Mencía dominates. Nor is the variety at home just in the top left-hand corner of the country, as we were to discover when we encountered a very successful Valencian version.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the Spanish Mencía panel tasting



Spanish Mencía panel tasting scores

The following wines all scored 92 points or above


The judges

Sarah Jane Evans MW is a Decanter contributing editor and Co-Chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards. Her latest book The Wines of Central and Southern Spain (£35 Infinite Ideas) is set for release in early 2024.

Beth Willard sources wines for both the on- and off-trade in the UK, with a particular focus on Spain and Eastern Europe. Formerly buying manager at Direct Wines, she is a DWWA joint Regional Chair for Spain, and a member of Spain’s Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino.

David Williams is a regular contributor to Decanter on all things Spanish. He is also wine correspondent for The Observer, deputy editor of The World of Fine Wine, and a columnist for trade magazine The Wine Merchant.


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