In the glass it’s a deep ruby moving to purple/magenta at the rim, with a beguiling nose of pomegranate, plum, red and black raspberry, wet roses and violets, graphite, a hint of eucalyptus (hello, Loire Cab Franc!), and crushed stones. It is medium-bodied and silky on the palate, the tannins barely perceptible and the acid bright but not sharp.
Ultreia St. Jacques is sourced from about 5 hectares of extremely old vines (some going back to 1900), scattered across a variety of small parcels around Valtuille. In addition to Mencía, which comprises the majority of the blend, there are small amounts of Alicante Bouschet and Bastardo (a.k.a. Trousseau) incorporated into St. Jacques; the wine is about 80% “whole-cluster” fermented (meaning intact grape bunches are crushed and fermented, stems and all) in large oak vats. It is then aged in a mixture of used oak barrels and concrete tanks then bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Pairings: Lasagna, dishes with tomato-based sauces, Barbecue grilled-meats, smoky dishes, dishes with corn as a major ingredient, mexican food