Tasting Notes: Bright ruby-red in color, this wine shows expressive notes of fresh black cherries and red berries mingled with hints of sweet spice, toast and cocoa. On the palate, this accessible red shows silky texture, liveliness and long length.
Pairing: Pair it with pork chops Normandy, Kobe beef, or parmesan-crusted asparagus tips.
Although Enrique Mendoza founded the winery in 1989, his son Pepe now runs the business, aided by his younger brother Julián. Pepe is responsible for vineyard management and winemaking, while Julián looks after the commercial side of the company. So well respected is Enrique Mendoza that it was inducted into the prestigious Grandes Pagos de España. This group’s mission is to defend and propagate the culture of “pago” wine, meaning wine produced in a specific terroir that reflects the distinct personality of the soil and climate. To become a member, a vineyard must surpass strict quality standards and also exhibit a degree of uniqueness in terms of soil, climate, or grape variety that sets it apart from the surrounding area. The association’s membership includes 25 estate wineries throughout Spain. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza is located near the town of Alfàs Del Pi, about 45 miles from the city of Alicante, and is surrounded by breathtakingly landscaped gardens. Most of the vineyards are located near Villena at an average of 1200 feet elevation, with some parcels as high as 2100 feet. Traditional plantings include Monastrell and Moscatel, although recently Pepe has experimented with international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. The resulting wines are typically fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak, with long maceration (up to 28 days). Natural farming is prioritized at Enrique Mendoza. Indigenous yeasts are used, and insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are avoided in favor of biodynamic practices. Pepe also emphasizes placing his vines under the optimal level of hydric stress to produce small, concentrated grapes; he uses computerized sensors to monitor moisture levels in the vineyard, adjusting irrigation accordingly.
92 Points -Robert Parker
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