Paixar 2011

Region: Bierzo D.O.

Grapes: 100% Mencia
Vintage: 2011
Color: Red

This is the joint venture of Alejandro Luna, Eduardo and Alberto Garcia focused on the production of a unique expression of Mencia. It started with the acquisition and leasing of tiny parcels of vineyards in the village of Dragonte (population 60) in the Bierzo region. Vines are planted directly in weathered slate of different colors and are 80+ years old; typically producing about one pound of fruit per vine. The vineyards are located on terraces, between 700 and 900 meters above sea level, a key factor in the slow and even ripening of the grapes. Due to the altitude, harvest is typically 15 days later than the rest of Bierzo.

Hand-harvested into small boxes, cluster sorted, cold pre-fermentation maceration, native yeast fermentation. This wine was aged for 16 months in new French oak barrels and bottled without any filtration.


Publication Score Comments
The Wine Enthusiast 92 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.
Top Wines of Bierzo - October 2014
The Wine Enthusiast 92 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.
Issue 2711, December 2014
The Wine Advocate 93 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.
Issue 216, Part 2, January 2, 2015
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 93 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.
“Focus on Spain” Issue 176 Sept/Oct 2014
Wine Review Online 95 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.
"Keeping Spain on the Map" October 21, 2014
Wine Review Online 94 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.
Wine Spectator 91 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.
Issue 3907, September 2014