4 Steps in the Right Direction: 'Cuatro Pasos' (Mencia 06), A Red Wine even a Bear could Love!

To be honest, I cannot remember the last Spanish wine that I mentioned here.

Looking for inspiration in a local wine store, I was asked have you tried this.

The 'this' in question was Cuatro Pasos (means 4 steps as footsteps).

Calling it 'old vines' would not be an exaggeration since the grapes come from 80 year old stock.

It is made 100% from Mencia more precisely brought to us by Bodegas Martin Codax in Cacabelos (Leon) and is part of the Bierzo DO (denomination of origin) in Northwestern Spain.

A fruit forward red, medium bodied, it clocks in at 14% alcohol.


Corie Brown in Old Vines, New Gambles (LA Times, Oct 07) described the 2005 Vintage as offering "aromas of berry and dusty blueberry and flavors of black cherry, this wine is reminiscent of a dry Lambrusco".

Where did the name Cuatro Pasos come from?

According to the winery:

"The discovery of four bear footprints in a magnificent vineyard in the
highest areas of the Bierzo inspired the name of this wine.
Four firm steps are necessary to reach excellence: the selection of
the land, the care of the vine, an suitable climate and carefulness in
the vinification.
Four places: Otero, Hornija, Corullón y Valtuille with four different
stories that define the character of their people and vines.
And this is how Four Steps came about, 100% Mencía elaborated
from grapes chosen from the over 80-year-old vines from the slated
lands located in the high areas of the Bierzo region.
After its vinification, its brief maturation is carried out in barrels of
oak originating from four woods: American, Allier, Limousine and

At times linked to Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc, the origins of Mencia are still a mistery. This varietal has been present in the area for hundreds of years.

Mencia used to be considered a poor cousin producing pale wines until outsiders came to the region bringing a fresh approach and putting the area back on the map.

This 2006 Vintage should be found for around $11.

So a great bang for the buck.

Our fiends at Catavino tells us more about the area's wines in their Virtual Wine Tasting of Bierzo (June 2007).

Michael Aptein called Bierzo: The Next Priorat, Only Better (Wine Review Online, August 07).

For the Consumed to Thrifty, another Spanish Wine Bargain of a year ago: Red wine from a Beloved Castle, Castillo de Monseran (Wine Blogging Wednesday #35)

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