Finca Luna Beberide

"Crushed roses and violets with pepper and wild berries. The palate has a fleshy and succulent core of rich black-cherry flavor. Long and smooth with regal tannins. Classy stuff." —
James Suckling, Wine Critic at JamesSuckling.com
Appellation
Bierzo D.O.
Grape(s)
100% Mencia, 50-60 year-old vines, yields of 25hl/ha
Altitude/Soil
700-800 meters elevation, calcareous/ clay and slate soil
Farming Methods
Practicing organic, Vegan
Harvest
Hand harvested into small boxes
Production
Fermented with native yeasts, ML conversion in barrel
Aging
Aged for 10 months in used French oak barrels
Suggested Retail Price
$30
Wine Name
Scores
Downloads
Reviews
Finca Luna Beberide 2012
91 (VM) 90+ (VfC) 88 (WS)
Score Publication Review Copy
91 Vinous Media (aged for 14 months in French oak barriques, half of them new): Brilliant, bright ruby. Sexy, mineral-laced black raspberry and potpourri scents are complemented by vanilla and allspice. Sweet, seamless and incisive, offering juicy red and dark berry flavors that fatten up and stretch out with aeration. Leads with finesse, not force, with smooth tannins adding gentle finishing grip. These vines, which are planted in a single plot, are now more than 60 years old. 2019 – 2023
90+ View from the Cellar The 2012 Finca la Cuesta from Luna Beberide is quite a ripe example of Mencía, tipping the scales at a full 14.5 percent alcohol. The wine is produced from sixty year-old vines and raised in a fifty-fifty blend of new and one wine French casks. The 2012 offers up a deep and complex nose of sweet dark berries, slate, espresso, gentle botanicals and lead pencil-like new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a fine core, lovely Mencía poise and a long, slightly warm and discreetly tannic finish. These old vines have really produced fine raw materials, but I am not really sure what the French oak influence brings to the party, as it seems to obscure much of the soil flavors here, while poking out with just a touch of tannin as well on the backend. If the team at Luna Beberide will just keep using the same casks for the next ten years, the wood should integrate even better and the soil elements here (which hover in the background) could more fully take their proper place and the wine would really shine! I assume the 14.5 percent alcohol level here is simply reflective of the extraordinary nature of the 2012 vintage, as it is a bit too high for greatness, and I look forward to tasting future vintages, which I hope to see in the thirteen percent range. This is a very good wine in 2012, but it could be spectacular with just a bit less octane and makeup! 2016-2025+.
88 Wine Spectator This firm red delivers a beam of cherry fruit, framed with smoke, licorice and mineral notes. Not a muscular wine, but has density and grip, with enough acidity for balance. Mencía. Drink now through 2023.
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Finca Luna Beberide 2015
92 (VfC) 92 (WRO) 92 (W&S) 91 (RP) 91 (VM) 91 (I-WR) 90 (WS) 90 (IWR)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 View from the Cellar The Finca la Cuesta bottling of Mencía from Luna Beberide is and old vine cuvée, with the vines ranging from sixty to seventy years of age and the wine raised in a blend new and one year-old French barrels. The 2015 version is an excellent follow-up to the fine 2014 bottling, delivering a refined bouquet of cassis, pomegranate, espresso, a complex base of soil, cigar smoke, a touch of tree bark and a very discreet base of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and plenty solid at the core, with good acids, ripe tannins and excellent focus and grip on the beautifully-balanced, nascently complex finish. This has a bit more mid-palate depth than the 2016 regular bottling of Mencía, as well as a bit more tannin and deserves a year or two in the cellar to start to blossom properly. Another superb value from Luna Beberide! 2020-2040+.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
92 Wine Review Online I'm quite sure that I've tasted every vintage of Finca la Cuesta ever made at Luna Beberide, and there's no question in my mind that this is the best of all of them. In fact, it was as good as some vintages as Luna Beberide's "Art" bottling of Mencía, which is a wine that rings up at more than twice this price. As an aside, lest you conclude that I've lost my critical edge, the 2015 regular, un-oaked "LB" bottling of Mencía was very disappointing, especially in view of this being a vintage that winemakers in Bierzo are quite excited about. There's always a chance that I had an unrepresentative bottle of 2015 LB, so I'll be looking for another bottle to try. What you should be looking for is this terrific Finca la Cuesta, which is an object lesson in Mencía's uncanny ability be be fresh and bright while also showing real depth and guts. The faint violet aromatic topnote is lovely, and subtle scents of spices also lend interest. The wine is really medium-bodied, but "punches above its weight" with excellent fruit intensity and an impressively long finish. For $22, this is undoubtedly one of the strongest values I've tasted during 2017, and a wine that I'd pour with pride in my home regardless of who was at my table. Indeed, King Felipe VI, should you drop by, I promise to crack open a bottle of this for you.
Michael Franz; July 25, 2017
92 Wine & Spirits Magazine Finca la Cuesta was planted more than 60 years ago on the slate-and-clay soils of Villafranca de Bierzo. This wine’s black fruit flavors are tart and compact, the structure tight and firm, with tannins that need time to expand. For the moment, it feels closed on itself. Decant a bottle for braised veal, or leave it in the cellar for two to three years.
August 2018 Issue
91 The Wine Advocate The 2015 Finca la Cuesta was still a little oaky when I tasted it, but it had the herbal and pungent character Mencía is sometimes capable of having. It felt slightly riper than the 2014 but without any excess. It's intense and concentrated, powerful and with balance. This should develop nicely in bottle. 50,000 bottles produced. Drink Date 2017 - 2021.
Issue 232, August 2017
91 Vinous Media Lurid violet color. Mineral-accented dark berries and candied flowers on the highly perfumed nose. Bright and energetic on the palate, offering bitter cherry and blackberry flavors that deepen and turn sweeter with air. Gently sweet and seamless in texture, with dusty tannins adding grip to a long, floral- and mineral-tinged finish. (Raised in a 50/50 combination of new and used French oak barrels.)
Drink 2021-2026
Spain’s Northern Regions Keep it Cool – March 2019
91 International Wine Review Semi-opaque. Spicy, fresh nose with bright red notes and earth scents. It offers a silky attack with firm tannic structure and a dry, lingering finish.
"Spanish Wines of Value and Quality" - June 20, 2019
90 Wine Spectator This red shows good density, with firm tannins and bright acidity supporting cherry, strawberry, mineral and smoky flavors. Rich and lively. Drink now through 2027.
July 31, 2018
90 International Wine Report A gorgeous value Bierzo, the 2015 Finca La Cuesta was sourced from estates 60 year old vines that are set on calcareous clay and slate soils. The nose entices with a nice combination of red and blue fruits with Asian spices rounding out. The palate shows really good tension and smoothness, as this feminine style wine builds in the glass and shows a seamless quality with lighter red fruits and a touch of milk chocolate.
June 2018
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Finca Luna Beberide 2016
94 (JS) 92+ (VfC) 91 (RP)
Score Publication Review Copy
94 JamesSuckling.com Crushed roses and violets with pepper and wild berries. The palate has a fleshy and succulent core of rich black-cherry flavor. Long and smooth with regal tannins. Classy stuff. Drink or hold.
August 2018
#63 - Top 100 Spanish Wines of 2018
92+ View from the Cellar The “Finca la Cuesta” from Luna Beberide is made from older vines than his regular bottling of Mencía, as these vines range from sixty to seventy years of age. This soils in this vineyard are a combination of clay and slate and the wine is raised entirely two and three yearold French casks. The 2016 vintage of Finca la Cuesta is an excellent wine, delivering a fine nose of blackberries, pomegranate, graphite, coffee bean, woodsmoke, a touch of licorice and a fine base of soil. On the palate the wine is fullish, complex and intensely flavored, with a lovely core, excellent transparency, ripe, firm tannins and a long, nascently complex and very promising finish. This is a bit more structured out of the blocks than the regular bottle of Mencía and should be cellared for a few years, but once it blossoms, it is going to be excellent. 2024- 2060.
Issue #78 - November/December 2018
91 The Wine Advocate I favored the 2016 Finca la Cuesta over the 2017 I tasted next to it (which changed its name, by the way), even if I could detect a note of oak after the wines had been sitting in the glasses for a while. The color is a bright ruby, and besides the smoke and spices, which are quite mild, there are notes of acid berries and wild herbs with an earthy twist. The palate is lively, medium-bodied and with good freshness that lifts the finish up. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2018.
Drink Date 2019-2023
Issue 241; February 28, 2019
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Finca Luna Beberide 2017
92 (VfC) 91 (VM) 90 (RP)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 View from the Cellar The Finca la Cuesta bottling of Mencía from Luna Beberide is produced from decidedly older vines, as these vineyards are sixty years of age and their soils, though still based on clay and limestone, also include plenty of slate. This wine is aged for ten months in older, neutral French oak prior to bottling. The 2017 version is excellent on both the nose and palate, reflecting the more powerful personality of the vintage in its aromatic constellation of cassis, black raspberry, espresso, woodsmoke, graphite, a complex foundation of soil and a topnote of anise. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and nicely plush on the attack, with a fine core and soil signature, ripe, moderately chewy tannins and fine length and grip on the complex finish. The lower acids of the vintage here are apparent in comparison to the 2018 Mencía, but the balance is still impeccable and this wine is going to age beautifully. It is certainly approachable today and quite easy to drink, but another layer of complexity is bound to emerge with some bottle age. 2020-2050.
Issue # 85 - January/February 2020
91 Vinous Media Deep ruby. Intense blackberry, cherry pit and licorice aromas are enlivened by a suggestion of smoky minerals. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering chewy dark berry and bitter cherry flavors that open up and become sweeter with air. Shows very good depth as well as energy and finishes sappy and long, with building florality and fine-grained tannins that sneak in late. (Aged for a year in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels.)
Drink 2019-2024
Spain’s Northern Regions Keep it Cool – March 2019
90 The Wine Advocate I had two vintages to taste of the Mencía cuvée that used to be called Finca La Cuesta but has been renamed as the 2017 Finca Luna Beberide. Tasting it side by side with the 2016, you could notice the differences of both vintages, where the wines from 2017 have more color and higher ripeness. This is also more primary and a little grapey. 50,000 bottles.
Drink Date 2019-2022
Issue 241; February 28, 2019
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Finca Luna Beberide 2018
95 (W&S) 93+ (VfC) 92 (I-WR) 92 (RP) 92 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 Wine & Spirits Magazine Alejandro Luna farms 60-year-old mencía vines at altitudes rising to 2,600 feet. He uses no pesticides on the vines or herbicides in the calcareous clay and slate soils, so he can allow the fruit to ferment spontaneously and develop the purity, intensity and stored energy this wine shows when you open the bottle. It tastes of game fresh from the hunt, astonishingly red, sunny, savory and spicy. The fruit recalls dark sour cherries and rose petals, with a beautiful bitterness that feels directly tied to the slate in the soil. Exciting to drink, especially with grilled game sausages.
Joshua Greene - August 2021
93+ View from the Cellar The Finca Luna Beberide bottling is from the estate’s own vineyard, which is planted on slate, chalk and clay and has vines that are sixty years of age. The wine is aged in a combination of new and one wine French barrels prior to bottling. The 2018 Finca Luna Beberide shows off a lovely nose of black cherries, sweet dark berries, espresso, slate, tree bark, woodsmoke, smoked meats, cedar and a nice touch of graphite in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with lovely old vine creaminess at the core, superb mineral drive and grip, excellent focus and a long, suavely-tannic, complex and tangy finish. This is so beautifully balanced that it is approachable today, but it is built to age and will be even more dazzling five to ten years down the road. Great juice. 2021-2065.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021
92 International Wine Review This 100% Mencía is sourced from a low yielding, 60-year old estate and is classified as a vino de paraje. It is a delicious fresh tasting wine that offers aromas and flavors of dark plum and spice. Medium-bodied, it displays a silky texture and concentrated mouthfeel, excellent balance and a long finish.
Issue #84 - March/April 2021
92 The Wine Advocate The aromatic, floral, elegant and subtle 2018 Finca Luna Beberide was love at first sight. From its bright purple color denoting youth to its intoxicating nose and the purity like no other vintage before, it really captivated me. It was produced with Mencía from 60-year-old vines in Villafranca del Bierzo and has unprecedented finesse and elegance. The palate is juicy, fresh and refined, but with energy and light, very clean and focused. This is drop-dead gorgeous. One to buy by the case at this price! 50,000 bottles.
Issue #249 - June 2020
92 Vinous Media Brilliant violet. Highly perfumed red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by baking spices and candied flowers. Lively and precise in the mouth, offering sappy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors lifted and sharpened by a strong mineral undercurrent. Closes with building sweetness, polished tannins and excellent persistence, leaving a juicy red fruit note behind. Aged in used French oak barrels. 2022 – 2030
Josh Raynolds - June 17, 2021 Atlantic Spain: It’s Always About the Weather…
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Finca Luna Beberide 2019
92 (RP) 91 (WRO) 91 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 The Wine Advocate The 2019 Finca Luna Beberide is now a Vino de Paraje from Valdetruchas in Villafranca del Bierzo, a place with a diversity of soils and one that showcases the style of Luna Beberide with more complexity than just a varietal wine. The vines are about 50 years old and located at 600 meters in altitude. The grapes are kept in a cold chamber for 12 hours and then put in stainless steel tanks to wait for the fermentation to start spontaneously, with a post-=fermentative maceration of around 10 days. Malolactic was in stainless steel and the élevage in used French oak barriques for eight months. The 2019 is slightly riper than the 2020 I tasted next to it but still medium-bodied with 13.5% alcohol, fine tannins and nice balance. It's tasty with a vibrant finish. 2022-2026
Luis Gutiérrez - January 2022
91 Wine Review Online This is a serious rendition of Mencía from Bierzo sourced from 50-60 year-old vines that shows the spicy, toasty, tannic effects of 10 months in used French barrels. Tasting the wine before checking the oak regimen, I’d have guessed that there was a portion of new wood involved, or that the sheer duration of barrel maturation was longer. In any case, though the wine seems quite notably oaky when the cork is first pulled, it comes together fairly readily with aeration, and the oak balance seems well done before long. There’s a very attractive savory layer to this wine that isn’t attributable to oak and probably not to age, either, as this 2019 remains quite young at this stage. Whatever the source of this savory side to the wine, it lends a lot of complexity and interest, and though the wine remains medium-bodied, there’s more depth and length of flavor than weight in this wine. That’s a great virtue at the table, though this can also be sipped with pleasure on its own after a vigorous decanting, and would be nice with a wide range of tapas.
Michael Franz – April 5, 2022
91 Wine Enthusiast This black cherry colored wine features a nose of bramble berries, tapenade and honeysuckle. Plush tannins play backup to flavors of cassis, blackberry, dark chocolate and clove that fade into a lifted floral finish.
Mike Desimone - August/September 2022 Issue
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Finca Luna Beberide 2020
93 (RP) 93 (VfC) 91 (OB) 91 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
93 The Wine Advocate The 2020 Finca Luna Beberide feels young and energetic. It has a nice combination of flowers, herbs and wild berries with a faint touch of spicy oak after 10 months in barrel. This has to be one of the finest vintages for this wine. It has just been bottled, so I'd wait a little to pull the cork; give it time to polish the tannins. Following the new official classification of the wines from Bierzo, this is a Vino de Paraje from Valdetruchas in Villafranca del Bierzo. 40,500 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2021. 2023-2027
Luis Gutiérrez - January 2022
93 View from the Cellar As I have mentioned before, the Finca Lune Beberide bottling is crafted from sixty to eighty year-old vines, planted on soils of clay and slate. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and undergoes malo and aging for ten months in used French barricas. The 2020 Finca comes in at the same 13.5 percent alcohol as the regular Mencía bottling in this vintage. The wine delivers a beautiful young bouquet of sweet dark berries, tree bark, woodsmoke, pomegranate, slate soil tones, a complex array of gentle botanicals and a nice touch of oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, young and complex, with a lovely core, excellent mineral drive and grip, ripe, buried tannins and a very long, tangy and impeccably balanced finish. This will need some extended cellaring to start to drink with generosity, but it will be excellent once it blossoms! 2030-2075.
John Gilman – Issue 98 March/April 2022
91 OwenBargreen.com Made from old vine Mencia grapes, the outstanding ‘Finca Luna Beberide’ shows off fabulous concentration, with good underlying verve. Rocky and stony undercurrents add to the intrigue, as tart red and dark fruits parade with coffee ground and baking spices on the palate. Enjoy now and over the next seven plus years to come. Drink 2023-2030-
Owen Bargreen - October, 2023
91 Wine Enthusiast This black cherry colored wine features a nose of bramble berries, tapenade and honeysuckle. Plush tannins play backup to flavors of cassis, blackberry, dark chocolate and clove that fade into a lifted floral finish.
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Finca Luna Beberide 2021
93+ (VfC) 93+ (RP) 93 (WRO)
Score Publication Review Copy
93+ View from the Cellar The Finca Luna Beberide is planted with sixty-plus year-old Mencía vines, on the same soil mixture of slate, chalk and clay as the regular bottling from this fine estate. The wine is aged in a mix of new and used French oak barrels. The older vines give a more precise and complex bouquet, offering up scents of cassis, pomegranate, graphite, slate minerality, pepper, French roast, cigar smoke and a discreet framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, mineral-driven and tangy, with a superb core of fruit, excellent focus and grip, ripe, fine-grained tannins and a long, complex and vibrant finish. This is outstanding juice. I would opt for giving it some time in the cellar to let its tannins fade away a bit, but it is so well balanced that drinking it in its youth is hardly a chore! 2028-2075.
John Gilman - Issue #105 May/June 2023.
93+ The Wine Advocate The perfumed, elegant and harmonious 2021 Finca Luna Beberide is serious and balanced. It feels young and energetic. This is now a vino de paraje from Valdetruchas in Villafranca del Bierzo, and it matured in barrel for 10 months. It has notes of flowers, herbs and wild berries with a touch of smoke and spice. It's fresh and balanced, with 13.5% alcohol. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2023. The Luna Beberide family has been producing modern Bierzo wines since 1988. They work over 50 hectares of vineyards and bottle around 150,000 bottles per year. Paixar was one of the first icons from Bierzo.
Luis Gutierrez – The Wine Advocate August 10, 2023
93 Wine Review Online I know this producer very well, having conducted one full visit and two fairly brief ones, including a brief one earlier this year. Four bottlings of Mencía are released, and this is the second one up, with a label that was formerly called “Finca La Cuesta,” or so it seems by appearance and placement in the lineup. That detail hardly matters, as this 2021 rendition is wonderfully open and delicious, without seeming overly developed, fruity or obvious in any way. That is not an easy result to achieve with any grape variety — Mencía included. Indeed, I can’t recall ever experienced this wine showing such complexity and completeness at this early stage in any previous vintage. Classic black cherry fruit scents and flavors form the core, as one would expect from this variety, but there are little flickers of red and blue fruits as well, and just the most subtle touch of oak imaginable (by which I mean, a suggestion more of oxygen interchange from a semi-porous vessel rather than just steel tanks). Savory notes are already emerging alongside the fruit, yet this doesn’t seem in danger of cracking up anytime soon. Any danger posed by this wine is to 95% of the $30 Pinot Noir around the world, which is easily bested by this wine, which is roughly similar in weight to most New World renditions but more complex and more versatile with food. Yes, that’s a big statement. Try the wine and put me to the test on this.
Michael Franz – Oct 10, 2023.
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