"the best Bierzo renditions of this grape [Mencia] are the most exciting wines now being made in Spain. In my opinion, the best of the best is Paixar... It is in a league with the world’s very best red wines" —
Michael Franz, Wine Review Online
Bierzo D.O.
100% Mencia, from vines averaging 80 years old
700-900 metes / broken slate, no top soil
Farming Methods
Practicing Organic
Hand harvested into small boxes in middle of September
Cluster sorted, destemmed and cold maceration prior to fermentation with native microbes
Aged for 22 months in new French oak
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Paixar 2009
99 (WRO) 93 (IWC) 92 CS (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
99 Wine Review Online Paixar is two things at once: A very obscure wine in terms of the awareness of the average wine lover, but also one of the greatest wines of the entire world... dark in color and exceedingly deep and persistent in flavor, but what is unusual is that there’s no hint of over-ripeness or over-extraction… exemplary balance between fruit- and mineral-based flavors and spicy, toasty, but very subtle oak notes.
93 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar Red and dark berry liqueur flavors show impressive intensity and become spicier with aeration, picking up notes of star anise and rose pastille. Stains the palate but there’s no excess weight here. Finishes spicy, pure and very long, with a whiplash of sweet spices and candied flowers.
92 CS The Wine Enthusiast Heady, piercing aromas of boysenberry, plum, violet and graphite are dense as a fortress. The mouth on this loaded. Bierzo has a strong backbone and juicy acidity. Flavors of black cherry, blackberry, coffee and lemony oak finish with a rush of chocolate and then accents of vanilla and baked berry fruits. Best from 2015–2022.
Cellar Selection
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Paixar 2011
95 (WRO) 94 (WRO) 93 (RP) 93 (IWC) 92 (WE) 92 (WE) 91 (WS)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 Wine Review Online I’ve tasted every vintage of this Paixar ever made--with the single exception of 2010--and regard it as one of Spain’s very best wines (and consequently one of the world’s best also). The 2011 rendition shows typically impressive pigment concentration, and the first aromatic impression is of toasty oak. Beneath the oak, subtle scents of anise, exotic spices and wood smoke prove quite alluring. Medium-plus body is standard for Paixar and that’s what the 2011 shows; there’s richness and substance, but no sense of heaviness. Dark berry fruit notes predominate, but there’s also a bright, fresh streak to the wine that also lends a suggestion of red fruits, and the overall impression is one of purity and precision. On the palate and in the finish, oak remains rather prominent, but the proportions of oak, fruit and tannin are just right, and those who can give this the 10 years of ageing that it deserves will get a great wine in return for their patience. If that seems like a lot to ask, remember that this is how you’d be advised to treat a $70 bottle of Bordeaux, and trust me: This will turn out to be a much better wine than anything you’ll get from Bordeaux for $70.
94 Wine Review Online Long-time readers of Wine Review Online will likely be aware that Paixar is among my favorite wines from anywhere in the world, so it will come as no surprise to them that I admire the release from 2011. I've tasted every vintage ever made, though 2001 was the first release, so that's no great feat. I only mention this because the wines made to this point are notably different from one another--some much firmer in their youth, others more open in fruit profile and softer in texture, with more or less wood showing overtly. With that context set, the 2011 has softened more more rapidly than I expected when I last tasted it two and a half years ago, and is now certainly among the softest and most approachable of all releases of Paixar. It has soaked up virtually all of its overt oak, and is now entirely delicious. For sheer complexity and power, it isn't quite up to the very best vintages of this wine (2001, 2004 and 2008), but it makes up for that with wonderfully generous flavors and lots of little nuances that emerge with time in the glass. For those who would like to buy an absolutely top-notch rendition of Mencía from Bierzo without waiting for years to have it open enough to be enjoyed, this would be a great choice. Naturally, it would be a matter of mere speculation for me to guess when this wine will be at its absolute apogee, and I've already admitted that it has opened more quickly than I expected. However, I can say with certainty that it will last for years, based on the fact that I've never tasted a single bottle of Paixar from any vintage (including the very great 2001) that has shown any signs of cracking up.
93 The Wine Advocate The 2011 Paixar is produced with old-vine Mencía grapes from south-facing slopes at high altitude on slate soils in the village of Dragonte fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged for 22 months in French oak barrels. It has an oaky nose, as is the norm with this wine in its infancy, but you need to read beyond that as there is great fruit in there. It is concentrated with perfectly ripe flavors, ultra-fine tannins and very good balance and harmony to age, perhaps not for as long as other fresher vintages would, but at least for a decade. It's balsamic with herbs, chocolate and cigar ash over the core of ripe damsons and black cherries. Patience will pay back. Some 8,000 bottles were produced.
93 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar Inky ruby. Explosive, exotically perfumed aromas of red and dark berry preserves, licorice, Indian spices and incense are brightened by a zesty mineral nuance. Sappy and penetrating, displaying excellent clarity to its juicy black raspberry and blueberry flavors; tangy acidity contributes spine. Suave and seamless in texture, finishing with outstanding vivacity and a whisper of tannins.
92 The Wine Enthusiast Jammy raspberry and blackberry aromas come with pastry notes and some woodspice. Flavors of toast, blackberry and pepper finish with balance and length. Drink through 2020.
92 The Wine Enthusiast Ripe, jammy raspberry and blackberry aromas come with pastry notes and a strong blast of woodspice. This strapping wine has staunch tannins and hard-pushing acidity. Flavors of toast, blackberry and pepper lean toward the dark side, while the wine’s handsome finish is secure in structure, balance and length. Drink through 2020.
91 Wine Spectator The cherry, berry and vanilla flavors are bright and juicy in this fresh red, with light, firm tannins and racy acidity. The structure is light but tensile, imparting drive and intensity. Drink now through 2022.
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Paixar 2015
94 (I-WR) 93 (RP) 93 (VfC) 93 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
94 International Wine Review The 2015 Paixar is 100% Mencia and is sourced from many small, high elevation bush-vines. Semi opaque in color, it has a perfumed nose of black raspberry with a slight charred note. Refined on the palate with a silky feel and bright acidity. Aged 18 months in new French oak barrels.
"Spanish Wines of Value and Quality" - June 20, 2019
93 The Wine Advocate After many vintages, the 2015 Paixar is now a brand of Luna Beberide. 2015 is a ripe vintage and the wine shows it in its heady and ripe nose, quite aromatic, expressive if very obviously young. This has always been a ripe, powerful and concentrated red, often generously oaked, designed for the long haul. The grapes come from the village of Dragonte, at high altitude and with slate-based soils that provide a texture and wide minerality to the wines. The palate revealed abundant, slightly dusty tannins that might need some more time in bottle and/or powerful food. 8,000 bottles produced. Drink Date 2018 - 2022
Issue 232, August 2017
93 View from the Cellar The Paixar bottling from this fine winery is made from very old, bush vines, all in excess of eighty years of age and planted on pure slate, which is far more typical in Ribeira Sacra than it is in Bierzo. The wine is raised entirely in new French oak, but I noted that the 2015 version spent twenty months in cask, rather than the twenty-two months of the 2013 version I reported on last year. The 2015 Paixar Mencía is an outstanding young wine, with the new oak beautifully integrated into the fruit and soil elements here. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a very refined constellation of cassis, pomegranate, espresso, licorice, great minerality, a touch of tree bark, cigar smoke and a very well done framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and impressively transparent, with a good core, excellent backend mineral drive, ripe tannins and a long, youthful, complex and tangy finish. This needs at least a couple of years in the cellar to start to blossom and more completely absorb its new wood, but it is very well balanced and will be a superb bottle with a bit of patience. 2021-2050.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
93 Vinous Media Lurid ruby. Highly perfumed and vibrant on the nose, displaying heady dark berry, pot-pourri scents and a smoky mineral overtone. In a rich but elegant style, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry, cherry-cola and spicecake flavors given spine and lift by a core juicy acidity. Shows outstanding depth as well as delicacy, and finishes with strong, floral-, mineral-driven persistence and silky tannins that come on late. (Aged for 22 months in new French oak barrels.)
Drink 2019-2026
Spain’s Northern Regions Keep it Cool – March 2019
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Paixar 2016
95 (RP) 94 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 The Wine Advocate The brooding and perfumed 2016 Paixar is a Mencía built to last, in what seems one of its freshest and more balanced vintages. This is produced with the grapes from high-altitude vineyards on slate soils, quite different from the majority of other vineyards worked by Luna Beberide. This cuvée is a joint venture with Alberto and Eduardo García from the Mauro winery in the Duero zone.
There is concentration with great elegance; the oak is still there but in the process of being absorbed by the wine (and feels less obvious than in earlier vintages), and there is great citrus freshness (think blood oranges) and balance in the palate. This is spicy and peppery and can surely be drunk now with powerful food, but it should develop further complexity with more time in bottle. 8,000 bottles were filled in November 2018.
Drink Date 2020 - 2030
Issue 241; February 28, 2019
94 Vinous Media Bright, violet color. Sexy, deeply perfumed blackberry, cola, floral oil and incense aromas pick up a smoky mineral quality as the wine opens up. Supple, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining black/blue fruit liqueur flavors that are complemented by suggestions of vanilla, mocha and five-spice powder. Densely packed yet lively as well, finishing with outstanding clarity and smooth, harmonious tannins. (Aged for 16 months in new French oak barrels.)
Drink 2022-2030
Spain’s Northern Regions Keep it Cool – March 2019
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