"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, Vegan
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 2011
95 (WRO) 94 (WRO) 93 (RP) 93 (IWC) 92 (WE) 91 (WS)
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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 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)
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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
96 (WRO) 95 (RP) 94 (VM) 93+ (VfC)
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96 Wine Review Online Longtime readers of WRO might already be aware of my utter adoration of this wine in almost every vintage, and now that the terrific 2016 is available, you can add another vintage to the list of fantastic Paixar bottlings stretching back to the initial release from 2001. The 2016 leans a bit more toward the sleek, fresh and elegant side of the Paixar spectrum than did the 2015, but with that noted, nobody could fail to appreciate the depth and length of the flavors offered by the 2016 (thanks, no doubt, to the old vines that have always been the source for this wine). The oak is especially well integrated in this vintage, which will make it tempting early on, but the smart money will hold onto this for another five years before cracking into it. Combining the usually divergent virtues of power and intricacy, this is a complete wine of superb quality.
October 29, 2019
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
93+ View from the Cellar Paixar is, of course, the top of the line bottling from Luna Beberide, hailing from vines that are all in excess of eighty years of age, with most of these old vines stand alone, bush vines, planted at the highest elevations in the bodegas’ vineyard patrimony. It undergoes a bit of a cold soak” prior to the start of fermentation and its elevage is similar to the Art bottling, though it spends a couple more months in cask. The 2016 Paixar comes in at fourteen percent octane and offers up a super bouquet of sweet dark berries, pomegranate, licorice, cigar smoke, a very complex base of soil, tree bark and a gentle foundation of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nascently complex, with great mineral drive and core, tangy acids, fine focus and grip, buried, fine-grained tannins and a long, vibrant and complex finish. This is really serious juice and impressively light on its feet, given how much depth and dimension are here. 2024-2050.
Issue # 85 - January/February 2020
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Paixar 2017
94 (RP)
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94 The Wine Advocate Paixar was a revelation, one of the first modern Bierzos, produced with the García family from Mauro. I tasted two vintages of this wine, which has come a long way. The riper and headier 2017 Paixar is explosive and hedonistic, truly remarkable for a very complex year in the region. But the palate has purity of flavors and vibrant fruit, and the oak feels integrated like never before. It's a much more floral and elegant version of this wine that keeps the essence of the high-altitude old vineyards on slate soils in the village of Dragonte. I think this is a real triumph over the conditions of the year. It matured in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels for 15 months, but the oak is completely integrated. 12,500 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2019.
Issue #249 - June 2020
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96 The Wine Advocate The 2018 Paixar is all violets, wild berries and raspberry leaves, a captivating, aromatic, floral and elegant expression of old-vine Mencía from the slate soils of Dragonte (Corullón) at 700 to 950 meters in altitude. It fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in 225- and 500-liter French oak barrels for 14 months. It's all very classic, but the wine has a very modern and clean profile, a change that perhaps started with the also cooler 2016 vintage. The wine is still powerful and has energy, but there is a level of sophistication, elegance and nuance I hadn't seen before. It's clean and floral and has depth and nuance. But it's on the palate and the beautifully textured mouthfeel that you see the greatness of this wine, which has all the ingredients to develop for a long time in bottle. I think this is the finest vintage of Paixar to date. 12,500 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2020. Bravo!
Issue #249 - June 2020
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