Wednesday, February 6, 2013

wine 102

 Robert Parker gives this Malbec from the Uco Valley 90 points

You all know about red wine, or do you?  Everyone seems to know Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir.  Argentina is famous for Malbec.  But there are so many other interesting varieties.  Have you tasted a Cab Franc?  Have you heard of Bonarda?  Or Petit Verdot? Or Tannat? Or Carmenere?
We left the northwest, Salta and Cafayate, where the white grape Torrontes is king, and flew to Mendoza, The Wine Center of the World.  That is what the sign at the airport claims, sort of like Wenatchee is the Apple Capitol of the World.  And both are pretty close to being true.  (Yakima and Bordeaux will have to steam in silence and read on.)

There is a wonderful little place named The Vines of Mendoza where you can sample various wines from many producers.  Since there are so many wineries, and many of them are 50-100 miles outside of town, it is a great way to learn a lot without driving for hours.  We chose the high priced tasting, after all we did not travel 9,000 miles to taste their average wine.

Las Reserves Del Valle was a flight of five Reserve wines ($250 pesos) although there were several other choices ranging in price from $50 pesos up.  Recall from the previous blog that a peso is now worth about   Thirteen cents, so this is not going to break the bank.

We loved the 2011 Zorzal Pinot Noir, delicious and full bodied for a Pinot.
The Laureano Gomez 2010 Malbec was delicious, intense black color and fruity but with enough tannins to give a nice long finish.
The Gran Lorca Poetico was a 2008 Petit Verdot, not our favorite, but then I thought this is better as a blending grape.
Do I sound pompous yet?  I dislike wine snobs, but we are just reporting the facts, and a couple of opinions.
The most expensive wine in the sample was the 2010 Recuerdo Gran Corte, a blend of Malbec, Cab Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.  It was great, but not worth the $50 per bottle price.  In fact we both commented that Mike Wade's Fielding Hills is better wine than any of these.
Finally, we enjoyed the 2006 Monteviejo which was another blend of the same four workhorse grapes, but in different percentages.
And if you want to buy any of these, or learn more about the wine here, visit the Vines of Mendoza website.

Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room

Later that night at dinner we had a blend with Bonarda from the Las Perdices.  The next day we tried some Tannat and in Santiago, Chile we had some Carmenere.  But that is the subject of the next blog. Cheers.  Dale

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