Bierzo DO, Spain
100% Mencia; 13% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 5 June
On the first night, I thought it needed 1.5 – 2 hours (as best I can recall; didn’t take notes) for the fruit to darken and sweeten, showing tangy fruit of darker plum, cherry, and raspberry, with some earth / spice.
The second half (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) I opened for guests. They liked it, but I didn’t get to take any notes. I liked it better than on the first night.
So… out of obligation to my readers only, of course, I got another bottle. This one, I opened and immediately split it into two half bottles, saving both for other nights. I opened one of those tonight, and it is indeed quite good. The fruit in this medium-bodied wine has a ripe, elegant, smoothness along with tart / zingy acid, showing flavors of red cherry, raspberry and lighter red roses, darkening over a couple hours to plum, blueberry / boysenberry, dark cherry, hint of dark roses, finishing with slight earth / spice / herbs and moderate tannin. It should be fine for at least another couple years.