An Extraordinary Xestal (Wine Blogging Wednesday #70)

More than six years ago, Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report launched Wine Blog Wednesday (WBW), a designated day for wine bloggers to write a wine-related blog post on the same basic theme.  I have participated in several WBWs (here, here, and here), but unfortunately, over the last year, there haven’t been many WBWs.  That’s about to change…WBW is back!

This re-launch of Wine Blogging Wednesday (#70) is being hosted by Catavino, so it’s no surprised that the theme is unique Spanish wines.  As someone who won Catavino’s Spanish Wine Education Scholarship competition to attend The Wine Academy of Spain’s 3-day Certified Spanish Wine Course in DC, both Catavino and Spanish wine hold a special place in my heart.  Therefore, I was particularly excited about this month’s WBW theme and had a bottle of red in mind for my WBW post.  The problem, though, is that I saved my wine for WBW itself, and today was one of those days that I thought would never end.  It started with a dentist appointment, where I was told that I have my first cavities and need fillings, and ended with an awful commute home.  In between, I was crunching budget number, running from meeting to meeting,  and answering a lot of questions.  When I left my office today, it was the first on-time departure all week, and I couldn’t wait to walk in the door, do some yoga, and then open up the Bierzo I’ve been waiting to try.

2005 Mencía Xestal

The 2005 Mencía Xestal (winery, snooth), which is a Bierzo, is from northwest Spain.  The wine is 100% Mencía grapes and had a deep, blackish purple color.  On the nose, there were raspberries, strawberries, earth, and a touch of ash, cedar, and something almost like animal hide.  In the mouth, there were tart cherries and pomegranates, followed by raspberries, cedar, and earth.  The wine had a medium body and acidity, with low-to-medium tannins.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $35, this wine is on the higher end for an after work bottle, but it is worth every penny.  The wine is big, complex, and a little different, but also easily accessible to the casual wine drinker.  The lusciousness of the wine makes it perfect for enjoying on it’s own.  I’m sure that it would also pair well with an earthy dish, although I admit that I enjoyed my several glasses with the episode of Castle that was on my TiVo.  Just make sure when you open a bottle that you give it enough time to breathe.  Without a little air, the alcohol can overwhelm the interesting characteristics.

Price: $35
Purchased at: Schneider’s of Capitol Hill
Overall: 4.5 Corks


  1. says

    First and foremost, we’re tickled pink, or mencia red in this case, that we hold such a special place for you. It’s not everyday one reads such words in an article, so thank you very much!

    In regards to your fab wine, I couldn’t be more pleased that you enjoyed it, especially after such a trying day. As you accurately pointed out, it might be on the higher side, but often (not always), those higher priced Spanish wines are worth every penny if you can muster it. And clearly, this little Mencia stole your heart!

    Thanks again for participating in WBW70 and hopefully this will only be the start of many future submissions 🙂

    • says

      Well, you and Ryan really are the reason that I’ve fallen in love with Spanish wine, so really it is me that should be thank you!

      And it’s always difficult to spend a little more on wine, particularly an every day wine, but I completely agree that a slightly higher Spanish wine is often worth every penny. This one was proof of that.

      Thanks again for hosting WBW #70!

  2. says

    One of my readers had told me about Mencia, and I had never heard of the wine. Glad I checked out your post, I will now have to check out this wine myself. Great post thanks!

  3. says

    I love the idea of wine blog wednesday, even if I’m not a real wine blogger 🙂 That logo is too cute…maybe my little contribution will be to drink wine & blog at the same time. Hope you are doing well!

    • says

      Drinking wine and blogging is perfect, although I think you’d do a wonderful job posting a WBW write-up. You love wine…you love blogging…why not?


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