As well as their work in pioneering the whites of Galicia, Luciano Amoedo and Katia Álvarez of Martín Códax also make this red wine in Bierzo. The Bierzo DO lies further inland from Rías Baixas, with a slightly warmer climate where Mencía is the native variety.
The discovery of four bear footprints in a magnificent vineyard in the highest areas of the Bierzo inspired the name of this wine - Cuatro Pasos or Four Steps. The wine is made from 100% Mencía grapes that are chosen from old vines (over 80 years of age), planted in slate soils.
Frost affected the valleys of Valtuille and Villafranca while the higher areas of Villadecanes and Otero were not as badly affected. The drought conditions through the summer resulted in smaller grapes and clusters which alongside the frost damage saw a reduction in yields. Despite this, the quality of the fruit harvested was high.
After destemming and crushing, the grapes were macerated at 12ºC before being fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats at 24-26ºC. After vinification the wine was matured for two to three months in oak barrels (75% French, 25% American).
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Cuatro Pasos Mencía DO Bierzo - fiche technique
This wine is morello cherry red in colour with violet hues. The varietal aromas of red fruits dominate the bouquet with subtle hints of vanilla from the oak. On the palate, it is elegant and well-balanced, with a fruit driven finish.