100% Mencia - Among the world’s most ambitious yet intimate wine estates (to which one usually arrives by boat), Finca Míllara is the dream of Fernando de Santiago, who fell in love with the emerging, dramatic and nearly inaccessible Ribeira Sacra wine district, a historically significant wine region that had been virtually abandoned. In 2000, he began purchasing parcels in the uninhabited hamlet of A Míllara overlooking the Miño, eventually acquiring the entire township and its surrounding slopes from hundreds of proprietary descendants. Reclaiming and restructuring the vineyard terraces A Míllara itself, following strict guidelines to maintain original architecture, incorporated the modern winemaking and aging facility. Vines are Mencía, soils predominately decomposing red slate. Southern exposure, steep inclination and reflection from the Os Peares reservoir provide for ample grape maturity. Farmed without herbicides. One-third from pre-existing old vines on the estate combined with the young Mencía vines planted on the reconstructed terraces. Spends 12 months in second-year medium-toast French oak barriques. Deep ruby. Sexy mineral-accented aromas of dark berries and cherry, with bright spicy and floral overtones. Sappy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors are braced and lifted by juicy acidity, picking up a sexy violet pastille nuance with air. Smoky minerals give focus to the finish, which strongly echoes the dark berry note. Josh Reynolds, International Wine Cellar, 2009 vintage, 91 points.