Tag Archives: Argentina

Carmello Patti – 16/12/2011

Malbec 2007
Deliciously soft and elegant, persistence and length, earthy aromatics. Rolls across the palate, mouth-filling, great savoury character.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Gorgeous aged characters, not harsh at all, invitingly savoury, so much complexity, balanced fruit with maturity.

Gran Assemblaje 2003
Still showing fruit on the nose with serious complexity and maturity, insane balance, structure and elegance, silky soft yet firm, wonderful integration and restraint.

Carmello Patti wines

Carmello Patti wines

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Achaval-Ferrer – 16/12/2011

Malbec 2010
Extremely dense in colour. Stewed plums, dried fig, very extractive and heavy, cooked character, tomato sauce, meaty texture, smoky sausage.

Quimera 2009
Bordeaux nose but much riper and more reductive, slightly brighter floral cassis, better integration and balance. Still very tight and tannic, heavy and very ballsy.

Finca Altamira Malbec 2009 (Uco Valley)
SLightly brighter fresher fruit, intensity of fruit but more elegant softer tannins, still very extractive though.

Finca Mirador malbec 2009
Darker more brooding subtle fruit, broader more developed and soft sweet tannins. Almost has a distilled character, balsamic reduction.

Achaval-Ferrer tasting

Achaval-Ferrer tasting

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Argento – 16/12/2011

Pinot Grigio 2011
Lovely light crisp simple style with reasonable texture.

Torrontes 2010
Very floral musky talcum nose, light clean and fresh, not too fruit sweet.

Bonarda 2010
Wonderful vibrancy and balance, nice currant fruit, good acid bites, light and soft yet structured.

Malbec 2010
Juicy tight red fruit, bright and light, great acids to add vibrancy, good concentration.

Reserva Malbec 2010
Better concentration and tannin texture, density and length.

Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Nice and dark density, good soft tannins, full mouth, nice balance and softness.

Argento tasting

Argento tasting

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Mendel – 15/12/2011

2010 Malbec
Nice floral dark fruits, fruit not obvious but serious, subtle lavender notes. Vibrant bright and tight, not heavy but concentrated, balance and weight.

2009 Malbec
Rounder dustier and earthier, more savoury and less fruit. Different balance and length, fruit seems to have quietened, structure and lines, acids carry nicely.

Unus 2010
Elegant and well-contained, amazing structural balance, quite savoury and harmonious blend.

Finca Remeta Malbec 2010 (old-vine Uco Valley)
Spectacular balance, chocolate and black cherry, exquisitely balanced and long. Sensational.

Mendel tasting

Mendel tasting

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Terrazas de los Andes – 15/12/2011

Reserva Torrontes 2010
Bright floral apricots, textural weighty body, quite warm, plenty of apricot and quince fruit, bold without being over-ripe.

Reserva Malbec 2009
Dusty dark fruit, quite hot and full with soft tannins, oak has been paired back, acidity and length.

Afincado Malbec 2007
Darker more subtle savoury nose, depth balance and soft velvety tannins, oak adds savoury dimension, extremely luscious yet concentrated.

Cheval des Andes 2007
Classic bordeaux aroma, gorgeous earthy leather, huge power and intensity, grainy tannins, marriage of terroir and vine, exceptional length.

Terrazas de los Andes tasting

Terrazas de los Andes tasting

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Finca Flichman – 14/12/2011

Misterio Malbec 2011
Very soft and oaky yet quiet. Plum and pomegranate, juicy tight soft tannins with hints of savoury meat.

Caballero de la Cepa Malbec 2011
Toasty burnt ochre, spiced plum and cranberries. Soft and mellow, juicy plumpness, freshness and brightness.

Gestos Malbec 2011
More perfumed but darker brooding chocolate notes. Sweet oak tannins, generous full fruit but still fresh.

Expressiones Reserva 2009
Earthy dusty dark fruit, juicy blackcurrant. Good texture and weight, some interesting complexity from oak and the cabernet fruit, full but not too heavy, malbec softens tannins.

Paisaje de Barrancas 2008
Purple and intense, dirty dusty earthy old vine style. Intensity of fruit, tannins bold but not oppressive, very clean precise and balanced lines, depth without complexity.

Tupungato 2009
Chalkier dustier floral aromas. Very soft smooth and voluptuous tannins, layers of velvety fruit, not as hot or dense as previous wines.

Finca Flichman tasting

Finca Flichman tasting

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Prowein 2012, aka "The Business" – Dusseldorf, Germany

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a Wine Trade Fair virgin. Way down in Australia we don’t have anything like this as it is not a big enough market for such a trade fair, and most of the market is dominated by six wine companies. The closest thing we have is individual distributors inviting their producers to show new release wines either once a year or every other year. Having visited Prowein 2012 I can say that this is preferable, as there are far less producers to see and I am familiar with them all. There is also the fact that I know many other attendees and can chat about the wines with them. Attending Prowein is a little bit like the edible room scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, except in that scene they knew what everything was and what they wanted to taste. I spent most of my time wandering around not knowing many of the producers and not knowing which were good enough to visit. It is amazing to see all of these big bright shiny stands, and the layout is generally clear and makes sense. There are a lot of stands for negociants and importers, so you sometimes stumble on Australian wines in the German hall, or French wines in the Spanish hall.

Shiny Prowein 2012

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South America – observations and learnings

Talk about potential! Chile and Argentina have been improving every aspect of wine production since the 80s, and as they learn more about their unique terroir and which varieties and styles to focus on in their regions, the sky’s the limit. Chile in particular seems to have such an amazing range of different climates, soil types and elevations that they could theoretically produce any wine style imaginable. People in the industry here are some of the warmest and most genuine I have ever encountered. The quality of the wines speaks volume, but it is the enthusiasm and honesty with which they are produced that makes them so special. In many of the wineries I visited I felt so welcome it was hard to leave so soon.

Very old vineyards in Cafayate, Argentina

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Come on down to torrontes town (Salta, Argentina – Day Two)

Funny how hindsight is always 20/20, but Salta was a very expensive detour to make. Firstly the rental car here was the most expensive I’ve experienced at $100+ per day, plus a navigator. Then you factor in the three hours each way from Salta, and the three hours each way to Colome, and that adds up to a fair amount of fuel for two days. Then on the way back from Colome on the previous day I had a blow-out without realising on the gravel highway, and subsequently damaged the wheel, which cost me $220 damages. When you add on accommodation and food, I ended up spending about $500 for two days, well over the $100 per day budget I have set myself. Was it worth the effort and expense? We shall see…

Very old vines on a very hot day

Very old vines on a very hot day

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Did someone say isolated? (Salta, Argentina – Day One)

I tossed around a couple of ideas for the name of this entry; Cafayate to Colome Rally; On top of the world, looking down on creation; Extreme altitude; High society; There and back again. Really any of them could apply to the adventures of the day. After arriving quite late into Cafayate the previous night and getting a good night sleep, I was keen to get to Colome on time. Little did I know that getting to the Colome winery is possibly one of the most laborious and treacherous I have ever experienced. Now in my days as a wine professional I’ve driven on unsealed roads to get to wineries plenty of time. Mostly they are the driveway or a side road off the highway, but nothing like this. The National Route 40 for a good 75km from Cafayate to Molinos and beyond is like outback Australia, also because of the scenery. This is not the kind of setting you expect to find a winery, let alone vineyards. Significantly drier and warmer during the day than Mendoza, the altitude of the Salta region alone makes this a cooler climate, as the daylight hours are shorter and the nights are colder.

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