Anthony’s Travels from earlier in the year cont…..Argentina 2010

For a quick diversion following full on blending and tasting in Chile AT headed out across the Andes to Argentina.

25th February 10

Clina and Tim

A flight from Santiago to Mendoza to be collected from the airport by Renacer and taken to Perdriel, Mendoza where Renacer operates from. AT was introduced to the assistant winemakers both from opposite ends of the world… Clina from France and Tim from New Zealand.

The harvest was due to start 1st week of March until the end of April. In the Mendoza valley there is no maritime influence so the temperature can soar to 45 degrees centigrade! Altitude however gives the vines a welcome break from the heat as night falls in. The Zonda a hurricane force wind cascading off the Andes can also relieve the heat, but is more of a hindrance than a help as it likes to blow at flowering and cause the vines no end of difficulty in pollinating.

Fresh from the wines of Argentina awards the previous night Patriache told AT some more about his vineyards. Over their 40ha all vines are netted throughout the year. Hail is a big problem in the region and nets act as a slight barricade against their onslaught. When asked about Organic farming Patriache was very dismissive. In Argentina they are very lucky to have very little humidity and hence don’t have the rot problems of the damper wine regions. Irrigation is however commonplace. Before lunch AT had the chance to try the range…

Tasting

A one man tasting – it’s red all the way!
WINE
GRAPE
REGION
VINTAGE
SCORE/20
Punto Final
Sauvignon Blanc
Mendoza
2009
15
Coate Classico
Malbec 98%
Cabernet Franc 2%
Mendoza
2009
15
Coate reserve
Malbec
Cabernet Franc
Mendoza
2007
15.5
Punto Final
Malbec
Mendoza
2008
16.5
Punto Final Reserve
Malbec
Mendoza
2008
16.5
Enamore
Malbec 60%
Cab Franc 23%
Cab Sav 10%
Syrah 4% Barrada 3%
Mendoza
2007
17.5
After working up an appetite AT was taken to lunch at Cavas Wine Lodge where one word covered the food ‘Magnificent’!
Francisco Garcia (export director of La Chamiza) digging in…
No sooner was lunch over, some R&R was taken and dinner was being discussed with La Chamiza another winery up the road… off to downtown Mendoza for some serious meat chomping! AT rolled to his Hotel which had the personality of a brick – Hotel Cordillera for those who want to know what to avoid!
Friday 26th February 10

Up early to meet La Chamiza’s bods… Francisco Garcia (still full from the night before), Diego Massi – S.American sales and Rafael Miranda the winemaker. These wines could certainly be looked at for the future but are not hitting our pages yet!
WINE
REGION
VINTAGE
SCORE/20
Chardonnay/Chenin
Mendoza
2009
15
Torrentes
Mendoza
2009
16.5
Chardonnay Reserve
Mendoza
2008
17
Malbec Rose
Mendoza
2009
17
Cabernet/Merlot
Mendoza
2009
16
Shiraz/Malbec
Mendoza
2009
16.5
Shiraz
Mendoza
2009
16.5
Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendoza
2009
16.5
Malbec
Mendoza
2009
16.5
Shiraz Reserve
Mendoza
2009
17
Cab Sav Reserve
Mendoza
2009
17
Malbec Reserve
Mendoza
2008
17.5
Malbec Super Premium
Mendoza
2008
16.5
Ultra Premium
Mendoza
2008
19
More meals….more meat, if I was a cow in Argentina I’d scarpa! This time a room full of plates laden with all types of meat ‘Don Mario’. Proteined up AT heads back to the airport and back to Santiago airport.

27th February 10

The earthquake hit (3 hours after AT flew out again)
3.05am earthquake hits Chile measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale. All at home in Ireland were massively relieved to discover that AT had flown out again 3 hours before and was en route to NZ with a glass of Henriot in hand oblivious to what he had left behind. Wine regions were massively damaged and lives lost to this great force of nature.


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