Fermented, Demented Mencia: A Poem 05/29/12
A certain grape exists in northern Spain,
Deserving of a greater reputation,
Whose wines you should endeavor to obtain
Provided you’re a fan of exploration.
Mencia is a grape I’ve met before,
To which I’ve humbly tried to draw attention,
Yet seldom can I find it in a store:
A fact that violates my comprehension.
When last I spoke of this exquisite grape,
The bottle I reviewed had been Galician:
A lovely, floral, elegant escape –
My first from this alternative location.
But Bierzo, situated in Leon,
Begets Mencia I declare my favorite:
A gripping ride until the wine is gone,
(Which happens quickly, so you’d better savor it).
Today the Bierzo region’s represented
by Demencia de Autor (a winery),
Whose offering was not so much demented
As balanced: decked in subtle finery.
Imposing, with a price of $60 dollars –
A level I have tended to eschew –
The wine will not indulge impoverished scholars,
Unless they have received it for review.
It came to pass that I and Mike, my brother,
(According to fraternal law, at least)
Sat down to pour a glass, and then another –
A filing, fine (albeit foodless) feast.
A crimson purple hue within the glass,
With notes of graphite, clove, and berries black,
The wine displayed Mencia’s normal mass,
While archetypal raggedness it lacked.
Among Demencia’s many fabled talents
A certain one especially impressed me:
The wine possessed unmitigated balance,
As fruit and spice and earth in turn addressed me.
We drank the wine with now-forgotten cheeses,
(I think that there was Stilton in attendance),
But sometimes, even though a pairing pleases,
It fails to reach that lofty goal: transcendence.
My record with Mencia is a strong one,
With nary an example I’ve discarded.
I doubt I’ll ever chance to choose a wrong one,
Or one that’s any less than well-regarded.
Yet this was no conventional example –
Indeed, it even ranks as rather strange –
Mencia whose typicity was ample,
Yet elegant beyond the normal range:
I’d recommend the wine, if you can find it,
(And happen to possess sufficient money);
But can I throw my full support behind it?
Of course! Foremost of all, the pun was funny.
Just in case that was too esoteric for you, here’s a quick recap: the 2008 Demencia de Autor was a lovely wine, and made from one of my all-time favorite grapes, Mencia. From the Bierzo region in Leon, Spain (whence most of the ones I’ve tried to date have hailed), it retails for $60 a bottle, which is admittedly beyond my normal price range. And even though they used a pun that I would have eventually used myself (the name Demencia, as you may have noticed, has mencia
Ultimately, I award Demencia thumbs up. It was a pleasure to drink, achieving an excellent balance among its fruity and earthy components without relying on excessive oak (as high-end Mencia can do sometimes). But I found myself missing the aggressive graphite notes that had characterized my first Mencia adventure – I suppose I like these wines a little rougher around the edges.
Next time, it’s back to Captain Planet Month(s) with Water: the wettest element of all!