Mencía (ES) / Jaen (PT)

Variety: red | Category II | Portugal/Spain

General Information



Origin: Spain, Castile and Leon (Bierzo). Peñin (1997) conjectures that this variety may have come from Aquitaine via the Caminho de Santiago. Itacyl (2008: 165) is of the view that both Strabo and later Pliny the Elder were referring to this variety when they described viticulture in the pre-Roman city of Bergidum, from which Bierzo's name is derived. According to Martins (2005), its varietal variability is much higher in Spain than in Portugal (Dão), which provides a good argument for the gene pool having arisen in Spain.

Historic and regional synonyms: Negra, Médoc, Mencia Pajaral, Mencía pequeño (ES), Fernão Pires Tinta, Jaen Galego, Gião (PT).

Homonym(s): Jaén (ES).

Area under cultivation: 11,400 ha (ES), 2,400 ha.(PT).

Trend: 1.5% growth

Varietal variability: Low in Portugal.

Availability of propagating material: RNSV polyclonal material; clones 104-110 RNSV.

VVMD5 VVMD7 VVMD27 VrZag62 VrZag79 VVS2
Allele1 Allele2 Allele1 Allele2 Allele1 Allele2 Allele1 Allele2 Allele1 Allele2 Allele1 Allele2
226 236 245 253 181 189 188 194 247 251 147 153

Young shoot (form of tip): Open, crimson red, no hairs.

Young leaf: Green, no hairs on ventral side.

Inflorescence (sex of flower): Hermaphrodite.

Young shoot: Green with green buds.

Mature leaf: Small, pentagonal, five lobes, medium green blade, irregular colouration. Glabrous on lower side of blade; medium convex teeth. Open V-shaped petiolar sinus. Open V-shaped upper lateral sinuses.

Bunch: Medium to large, conical, dense. Peduncle of medium length.

Berry: Round, medium blue to blue-black; somewhat difficult to detach.

Berry skin: medium firmness, soft flesh. Few large, herbaceous seeds.

Time of bud burst: Normal, 9 days after the Castelão.

Flowering: Normal, 7 days after the Castelão.

Berry (colour change): Early, 5 days before the Castelão.

Berry (harvest ripe): Normal, at the same time at the Castelão, partly because of its low acid content.

Vigour of shoot growth: Medium to low.

Pruning weight:: (2,200 – 2,700 kg/ha).

Shoot attitude (habit): Semi-erect.

Length of internodes: Very short.

Shoot length: Medium, glabrous, poor lignification.

Tendency to form lateral shoots: Low.

Rate of multiple bud bursts: Medium.

Bud fertility index: High, especially with short pruning in winter.

Yield: High, over 15,000 kg/ha. RNSV statistical value: 2.2 kg/vine (Average of at least 40 clones in Nelas over 2 years).

Yield consistency: Consistent.

Crop uniformity: Uniform.

Sensitivity to abiotic factors: Sensitive to wind; first shoots break, then the berries fall.

Susceptibility to fungal diseases: Very susceptible to Peronospora, as well as Oidium and grey mould rot (Botrytis).

Systemic viral infection prior to selection: 20% GLRaV-3, 30% GFkV, <50% RSPV.

Susceptibility to Pests: Medium sensitivity to the vine leafhopper and grape berry moth.

Bunch density: Medium to large (200 g)

Berry size: Medium (1.5 – 1.8 g), rounded.

Berry skin: Medium to thick.

Seeds per berry: Many, and herbaceous.

Vineyard conduction system: Adapts well to all types.

Soil requirement: Adapts well to most soil conditions, providing moisture levels are low.

Climatic requirements: Dry climate.

Vine density: Adapts well to all configurations.

Rootstock: 3309C, 41 B, 161-49, 100-14, 420 A, R110, and traditionally, SO4.

Irrigation: Limited experience.

Incidence of coulure/millerandage: Not very susceptible.

Spoilage of mature berries: Matures well, spoilage minimal at harvest.

Risk of bird damage: Needs protection because of early maturation.

Machine harvest suitability: Suitable if harvested at low temperatures.

Wine type: Table wine, dessert wine in Portugal; as rosé wine and quality reserve wine. Also suitable for carbonic maceration in Bierzo (ES).

Potential alcohol content: High (as much as 14% vol.). RNSV statistical value: 13.62% vol. (Average of at least 40 clones in Penalva over 5 years).

Natural acidity of must: Very low (total acid content, 3 – 4.5 g/l; malic acid, 0.6 g/l; tartaric acid, 3.5 g/l). Acid content tends to diminish with vinification. RNSV statistical value: 3.34 g/l (Average of at least 40 clones in Penalva over 5 years).

Total anthocyanins: (RNSV statistical value: 737-22 mg/l (Average of at least 40 clones in Penalva over 5 years).

Total phenols index (at 280 nm) of must: RNSV statistical value: 30.96 (Average of at least 40 clones in Penalva over 5 years).

Risk of oxidation of must: No risk if harvested well.

Colour intensity of wine: Red to deep red.

Wine colour tonality: Violet tones in the early phase.

Risk of oxidation of wine: Medium.

Aromatic profile: In Dão, this variety has the second highest concentration of terpenoids (after the Touriga Nacional): free linalool at 39 μg/l, nerol att 35,8 μg/l, and geraniol at 20 μg/l. Organoleptically, the variety has a flowery aroma, which develops into one of strawbery fruitiness.

Ageing Potential: Wine to be consumed early, since it ages quickly.

Blending recommendation: At maturity, wines from this variety needs the strength of the Touriga National and a little of the acid of the Rufete or Alfrocheiro. (V. Loureiro)

Wine Descriptors: Its aroma is both delicate and intense, and reminds one of mulberries and myrtle, which makes it a quality variety. Despite its rusticity, it is a valuable variety, whose aromatic properties have stamina and lend its wines a certain uniqueness (V. Loureiro).

Wine quality: Supple; early harvesting imbues it with elegance.

Variety Characteristics: unavailable

Other varieties from the same category: