This wine is produced from very old vines of Mencia which are planted directly in weathered slate of different colors and are 80+ years old. They typically produce about one pound of fruit per vine. The vineyards are located on terraces, between 700 and 900 meters above sea level, just outside the tiny village of Dragonte. The high elevation of the vineyards is 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.
Fruit for this wine was hand-harvested into small boxes. Upon arrival to the winery the clusters were sorted by hand and the grapes were destemmed prior to a cold pre-fermentation maceration. Fermentation proceeded with native yeast populations. This wine was aged for 22 months in new French oak barrels and bottled without any filtration.
View from the Cellar
The Paixar bottling from the bodegas of the same name is entirely comprised of old vine Mencía, from eighty year-old bush vines growing at upper elevations in Bierzo. The wine is raised in French oak barrels for twenty-two months prior to bottling. The 2013 Paixar offers up a simply beautiful bouquet of cassis, pomegranate, graphite, woodsmoke, chicory, hints of grilled meats, a fine base of soil and a fairly judicious framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very elegant on the attack, with a fine core of fruit, bright acids and fine length and grip on the modestly tannic and very well-balanced finish. This could use a few more years of bottle age to fully blossom, but it is already a delicious glass of wine and is not easy to resist right now! 2020-2045+. Jan/Feb 2017
The Wine Advocate
The 2013 Paixar is pure Mencía from old vines in a slope plot at 700 to 1,000 meters altitude in the village of Dragonte, where the soils are rich in slate. The wine matured in French barrique for 22 months and was bottled unfiltered. It's very peppery, a little herbal, perhaps a lighter vintage, with little influence of oak. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins, quite fluid, without the power and clout of other vintages. A lighter year of Paixar, elegant and fine. 8,000 bottles produced. Issue 224
Wine Review Online
Paixar is one of the handful of truly great expressions of Mencía from Bierzo. That won't mean a lot to many consumers, but those who have a passable inventory of tasting experiences with these amazing wines will know that this means Paixar is among the best wines of Spain, and thereby among the great wines of the world. It results from a joint venture between Alejandro Luna (of Bodegas Luna Beberide) and Eduardo and Alberto Garcia, who are the sons of--and collaborators with--Mariano Garcia, revered winemaker for Vega Sicilia for many years. The first vintage was 2001, and every release has been terrific--including 2002, which was an exceedingly un-promising growing season. This wine from 2013 is also from a vintage that nobody in Bierzo has much good to say about (I spent a week there in May), but I'll be damned if this isn't yet another killer edition of Paixar. It seems a little tight and woody right after the cork is pulled, but blooms gradually over the course of three hours into something increasingly gorgeous. The aromatic notes include subtle suggestions of toast, spices and cedar, followed by flavors recalling black cherry, pomegranate and black raspberry. Mineral notes are initially rather muted, but they become increasingly prominent as the wine opens with airing, ultimately becoming as prominent as fruit in the wine's very long finish. There's plenty of acidity to keep the whole package fresh, and the proportionality and integration of tannin, fruit and wood is clearly outstanding. What is ultimately most impressive, though, it the persistent minerality in the finish, which makes this seem like a wine born more of rocks than of grapes. Indisputably terrific--as usual. July 2017, Michael Franz