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Mencia is the new kid on the block of varieties in Australia. Peter Leske, the winemaker responsible for this release, has backed this exuberant Spanish variety placing it amongst the first couple of (very) good examples popping their head up from South Australia in 2016. A small parcel of fruit, gently handled and absolutely nailed in its debut vintage. With 94 points from The Wine Front's Mike Bennie and a Trophy for Best Other Red at the 2016 Adelaide Hills Wine Show, if you are curious about exciting new varieties here in Australia you need to check this out. Only around 200 dozen made.
What it Tastes Like
_94 points. "Great clarity to the fruit here. Lifted floral and sweet red fruit perfume. Palate shows bustle of sweet spice and red currants. Fine juiciness then very fine ropes of powdery tannins. Those tannins! It’s sleek and tight, long and fine. Light weight yet packs in plenty. This is superb." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
94 points. "Great clarity to the fruit here. Lifted floral and sweet red fruit perfume. Palate shows bustle of sweet spice and red currants. Fine juiciness then very fine ropes of powdery tannins. Those tannins! It’s sleek and tight, long and fine. Light weight yet packs in plenty. This is superb." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front) Trophy - Best Other Red - 2016 Adelaide Hills Wine Show
Our Mencia is the only block in the Hills, as far as we know. It’s on one of the most scenic sections of the beautiful Revenir vineyard at Lenswood: gravelly clay loam running across the top of a hill at ~500 m above sea level, with great views (and exposure to ‘weather’…) to the south-west. The soil is quite shallow, which ensures moderate vigour vines. Mencia likes it here: it grows with attractive bright green foliage and has the capacity to develop large bunches of evenly coloured, medium-large round berries. Our first crop was several hundred kilos in 2015; in 2016 we thinned the crop carefully and dropped quite a lot onto the ground (ouch!) but still picked enough to be able to really get an idea of the potential of the variety in our conditions. We think it’s a mistake to take a ‘new’ variety, in a new site, and try to push it too far, winemaking-wise. It’s better to play a gentle hand, which means not getting it too ripe, working it too hard in the fermenter, or going crazy with new oak. The French love to talk about ‘respecting the fruit’ (a much over-used term, frankly!) - but it’s what we tried to do here. So after hand picking on 24th March, we destemmed to an open fermenter, let it ferment without added yeast, hand plunged intermittently, pressed after a week on skins, racked to old French oak barrels, racked it to tank and blended soonafter natural ‘malo’… then bottled it.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
La Linea is the extremely exciting Adelaide Hills venture of Master of Wine David LeMire and ex Nepenthe Chief Winemaker Peter Leske. After developing a obsession with Tempranillo, he became determined to craft a range of ‘Temps’ for himself, and La Linea is the result.
The Adelaide Hills may be the most energised wine region in the country. The sense of exploration and creativity amongst the tribe of talented young winemakers in this region is unparralelled. The Hills has become crucible of Australian wine talent, offering an array of varieties, from classics such as Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to new varieties like Nebbiolo and Grüner Veltliner for the younger generation to play with. Every vintage brings new colour and complexity to the rich wine, food and produce culture of this cool climate region.
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