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Bargain Bierzo

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Bierzo 2014, Viernes, Bodegas Godelia ($16.45, 12751451)
100% Mencía from vines between 12 and 21 years old in various plots. Manually harvested. The grapes are kept at 10ºC while processed at the winery and gently destemmed. Fermentation in temperature-controlled (25ºC) stainless steel tanks with push-downs and pump-overs lasts 12 to 15 days. Malolactic fermentation and four months’ maturation on selected lees also take place in tanks. 13.5% ABV. Screwcapped. Quebec agent: Vinicolor.
Attractive, earthy nose dominated by cherry, cassis, sandalwood and slate. Medium-bodied. The flavours echo the nose. Starts out ripe-sweet but dries as it goes along. Light tannins add some grit and outlast the fruit. Licorice, black pepper and a dash of salt colour the mildly astringent finish, while tobacco lingers on. Quite intense from start to finish though lacking some of the depth and follow-through of more expensive Bierzos; on the other hand, it’s not overambitious like so many of those wines are. Savoury and a bit rustic, true to the grape and the terroir, this punches above its weight and delivers good bang for the buck. (Buy again? Sure.)

No, it’s not natural or even organic and is probably made with selected yeasts and manipulated who knows how. But in contrast to many wines in its price bracket, it doesn’t taste industrial or like a headache generator.

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Written by carswell

March 10, 2016 at 12:40

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