February 2017 - Wine of the Month
Cuatro pasos is a 100% Mencía red wine made from selected grapes from 80 years old vines. The discovery of four bear footprints in a vineyard in the highest areas of the Bierzo region inspired the name of this wine.
The territory of El Bierzo is located in the Northwest of the Province of León (Castile and León, Spain) and includes most of the upper basin of the Sil river. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides, which makes this area remarkably isolated from all neighbouring lands. Bierzo is also a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines, whose area consists of numerous small valleys in the mountainous part, known as Alto Bierzo, and of a wide, flat plain named Bajo Bierzo.
There are only two red grapes (Mencía and Garnacha tintorera) approved by the Consejo Regulador of Bierzo DO, and its legislation requires that the subsequent red wines must be made with at least a 70% of Mencía grapes.
Most Mencía wines have traditionally been light, pale and moderately fragrant, mainly intended for early consumption. This style of wine was the result of post-Phylloxera plantations on fertile plains, which tended to give high yields but diluted wines. In recent years, much more concentrated and complex wines have been produced by a new generation of winemakers, primarily from old vines growing on hillsides, often on schist soils, in combination with careful vineyard management. This has led to a renewed interest in Mencía wines: since the 1990s, the grape is increasing in popularity, and an increasing number of noted Spanish winemakers are now working with it.
As well as the four bear tracks which have christened our wine, there are also four solid steps in winemaking that are necessary to reach excellence: a suitable climate, the selection of the soil, the care of the vineyards, and carefulness during the vinification process. And this is exactly what we find in our red wine Cuatro pasos 2014: grapes from 80 year-old vineyards, planted on slate soils in the high areas of the Bierzo, fermentation in stainless steel tanks with controlled temperature, and 2-3 months of ageing in selected French and American oak barrels, resulting in a remarkably balanced and pleasing red wine.
Sight: intense garnet colour with violet reflections.
Nose: moderate intensity, with predominant red fruit notes (cherry, plum), a floral touch of violets, spicy notes of vanilla, along with toasted hints and lactic notes on a mineral background.
Taste: fresh, nice and tasty entry. Good acidity, with pleasant and well integrated tannins. Silky, varietal, and predominantly fruity. Medium-long lingering aftertaste, round and balanced.
Especially recommended as an aperitif, it pairs particularly well with carpaccio, pasta, pâté, serrano ham and cold meat, sheep cheese...
I am sure that after the first sip you will certainly feel like drinking another one and repeat until there is no more wine left.
Alcohol content: 13.5 %
Serve at 17 - 18 ºC.
Average prince: 6.90 €
You can find it in any specialised wine shop and also on the Internet (http://www.bodeboca.com, www.vinissimus.com, www.decantalo.com, ...).