Dominio do Bibei Lalama Mencia 2006: A Review in Verse 01/16/12
As I sat in my place, staring off into space,
With my room all arrayed in IKEA,
I was struck with the thought of a wine that I’d bought:
The alluring Lalama Mencia.
My affections are strong, so it hasn’t been long
Since I last sang the grape’s many praises;
But this wine simply must be described and discussed,
To address all the questions it raises.
Though the bottle was Spanish, and quite quick to vanish,
Like other Mencias I’ve tried,
It was not from the region where such wines are legion
(In Bierzo they tend to reside).
But another location, a lot more Galician,
Is making Mencia wine too:
If the tongue you abhor, you could say “Sacred Shore”;
For me, Ribeira Sacra will do.
To the bottle affixed was its vintage, ‘06;
Seems Dominio do Bibei produced it.
But the insight I’m able to glean from a label
Requires a corkscrew to boost it.
From the instant I sniffed, I was floating adrift
Over syrupy strawberry seas;
To a buoy I swam wrought of rhubarb and jam,
When along blew a lavendar breeze.
One aroma lay latent, while typically blatant:
The tiniest twinkle of graphite;
This Mencia was not what I thought I had got –
I would say that it smelled about half right.
While I pondered the scent, little clue what it meant –
‘Twas a style I’d never explored –
I encountered a ferry constructed of cherry
And swiftly was taken aboard.
Had I tasted it blind, I were likely to find
That my guess would have been Pinot Noir,
Such ephemeral levity – dare I say brevity –
Seemed in Mencia bizarre.
Please do not misconstrue what I’m saying to you,
For the wine was indeed something special;
I was thanking my luck, since at 35 bucks,
It approached my superlative threshhold.
With refinement and balance among this wine’s talents,
A prince it could please, and a peasant;
One would need ample gumption, if after consumption
He claimed it was other than pleasant.
Then the question arose where Mencia best grows:
Is it Bierzo or Ribeira Sacra?
Can both regions express the grape’s grace and finesse,
Or is one churning out simulacra?
When I think of Lalama, ignoring the drama,
I realize it left me agape:
A Mencia of passion – just not in the fashion
I’d come to expect from the grape.
Even though I aver that I frankly prefer
When El Bierzo is whence the wine comes,
The Lalama was splendid, no doubt recommended,
With upward thumbs!