Apologies! It's been over 2 years since we last had a Mencia in our case, the principal red grape of Northwest Spain. Well made Mencia is very similar to Pinot Noir. Indeed, in a blind tasting Boyd gave for wine industry veterans of three Mencias and one Pinot Noir, no one could guess which might be the Pinot Noir. Bierzo is a high valley surrounded by the Cordillera Cantabrica and León Mountains on the border between Castilla y Leon and Galicia with a latitude similar to that of the border between California and Oregon. This is not the sweltering, dry Spain of Don Quixote, but a cool, transitional climate with some rain and thermal regulation from the Atlantic and dry winds during the growing and harvest seasons from the interior plains. Raul Perez, the longtime consulting winemaker for this wine, is thought by many to be the best winemaker in the world. Raul’s family has been making wine in Bierzo for over 300 years, and his flowing locks and beard make one think of Moses returning from Mount Sinai but with bottles of terroir-emphasizing wines instead of stone tablets. The Tilenus label features a Roman coin that was found in the organically farmed vineyards, but wine was made in the region by the Celts even before the Romans. Highly aromatic, with deep flavors of macerated and confit bing cherries, white pepper, woody thyme and fresh flowers the wine has moderate acid and silky, moderate tannins. Would go well with almost anything.