VARIETALS: 100% Mencía
ABOUT THE WINE: A Portela showcases the special terroir of Valdeorras in a rare way, as the region is now known primarily for white wine production. Hailing from the A Portela subdistrict where red grapes can ripen on a rounded hiltop, this aromatic Mencía is a perfect introduction to the hallmark red grape of Galicia produced by the hands of a winemaker who wants to keep the past alive. Winemaker Alberto Orte produces A Portela from a single vineyard, planted to high elevation slate and granite soils. Beloved in ancient times as the only place the Romans found that could grow olives so far north on their supply line, Valdeorras is warmer than its neighbors to the west, shielded by mountains from the cold wet winds of the Atlantic. It’s also cooler than its neighbor Bierzo to the east, similarly shielded from hot Continental winds by mountains.
TASTING NOTES: crushed rose, cherry, earthy spices, minerality
PAIRING: These earth tones beg for an herby roasted chicken. For the crispiest skin, I always season it a couple of days ahead, and cook it in a 450 degree oven, until the heartwarming smells fill your kitchen, Toss mushrooms and shallots with olive oil and nestle them around the chicken before baking. - Chef Katie Button