LearnAboutWine.com with me: Argentina

This event produced by LearnAboutWine.com was a triple-score for attendees.  A 30-minute trip (for me) to see the newly re-done Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, a one hour wine class and tasting, and then to round out the day no less that 65 wine producers from Argentina sharing their passion, and their wine.

Argentina: Celebrating Diversity

Our class was led by Nora Z. Favelukes, President of QW Experts.  And even though we were to try 4 wines from the 2010 Argentina Wine Awards Competition held in Mendoza last February, we opted to listen, attentively, to our speaker to learn such things as:

Argentina is both blessed and challenged by altitude, the continental divide, terroir extension/diversity, low fertility of soils and dry climate.

Ms. Favelukes explained that the low fertility allowed for complexity, and the climate – namely in Mendoza – made it easy to produce organic wine.

She made several references to the similarity between California and Argentina…that it was the Italians that came to both countries that helped develop the industries in each.

We learned that Argentina is the 5th to 6th largest producer of wine in the world, and it’s 4th largest consumer.  Since 2000 several French families from Bordeaux purchased Argentinian land to grow grapes as they were attracted to the inexpensive land and its quality potential.

She pulled up maps several times in her presentation to explain the different regions, but I had all that WSET stuff floating around in my blond brain (My test was 10/24, so I will know soon how I did!) and there wasn’t room for any more! 

The 4 Award Winners (My notes in italics)

1 –  Domino del Plata – Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2009, Lujan de Cuyo and La Consulta, Mendoza.

Color was a bright strawberry, and the aroma was the same bright fruit, mild acidity and short finish.  With 100% Malbec I was hoping for more. 85 Eve pts. 

2 –  Santa Ana – Bonarda Reserve 2008 – Finca La Mascota, Cruz de Piedra, Maipú, Mendoza.

Bonarda is their Charbono grape and I really wanted to like it, this example was 100% Bonarda.  The color was garnet/ruby with aromas of deep toasted oak, cigar, mint and black fruit, the taste had medium tannins, smoke, dry.  I’d like to have tried it in a full glass, another time.  So I’m between 88-90 Eve pts.

3 – Finca Sophenia – Synthesis Malbec 2008 – Tupungato, Gualtallary, Mendoza.

The color was a nice purple, aroma of toasted oak again but this time – WOW – the violet notes were just bursting!  Remarkable!  The taste was very dry with high tannins and not much fruit.  All in all, such a pleasure to try, I’d have to say 90 Eve pts.

4 – Pascual Toso – Magdalena 2006 – Barrancas, Maipú, Mendoza.

Another dark ruby to purple color, I got a very vegetal nose right off of mushroom, black pepper.  The taste was medium on the tannins, medium mouthfeel, high acidity and black fruit.  It was a blend of 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not sure about this one yet…about 86 Eve pts.

The Wines  (I’ve used italics for the ones I liked, but don’t judge the rest by me, most I just couldn’t get to in the 138 page booklet.)

 Alamos Winery Mendoza 
 Alta Vista Mendoza  07 Atemporal and 05 Alto
 Andeluna Cellars Mendoza 
 Argento Wine Company Mendoza  09 Reserva Malbec
 Atamisque Mendoza 
 Baggio RPB Mendoza 
 Benvenuto de la Serna Mendoza  
 Bodgea Sottano 06 Classico Cabernet Sauvignon, 08 Classico   Malbec
 Bodega Tapiz   09 Bonnardo (So happy to find another I liked!)
 Casa Orfila Mendoza 
 Chakana Mendoza 
 Cielo y Tierra Mendoza  05 Don Juan Nahuel – Reserva Malbec
 Clos de Andes   06 Reserva Malbec, 04 Poesia Cuvee Helene,   and both 05 and 06 Poesia
 Clos de los 7 Mendoza  08 Clos de Los Siete and 07 Diamandes
 De los Clop Mendoza 
 Domaine Vistalba Mendoza 
 Domingo Hermanos Salta 
 Dominio del Plata Mendoza 
 Don Cristobal Mendoza
 Don Manuel Villafane  ’10 Torrontes Rioja  
 Don Miguel Gascon  09 Malbec and 08 Malbec Reserva
 Dona Paula Mendoza 
 Eclipse- Sanchez Linares Mendoza 
 Escorihuela Mendoza 
 Fabre Montmayor  07 Grand Vin and an 07 Icono
 Familia Muñoz Salta 
 Familia Schroeder Patagonia 
 Familia Zuccardi Mendoza 
 Fecovita Mendoza 
 Felix Lavaque Salta 
 Filus Mendoza 
 Fin del Mundo Patagonia 
 Finca el Origen Mendoza 
 Finca Flichman Mendoza 
 Finca Las Moras San Juan 
 Finca Sophenia Mendoza 
 Fincas de la Juanita Mendoza  09 Syrah Reserve
 Fincas Rewen San Juan 
 Graffigna San Juan 
 Lagarde 08 Single Vineyard DOC Malbec
 Las Moras  08 Alma Mora Malbec and 08 Cabernet Sauvignon
 Luigi Bosca Mendoza 
 Mendoza Vineyards Mendoza 
 Monteviejo Mendoza 
 Munoz de Toro Wines Patagonia 
 Pascual Toso Mendoza  07 Reserva Syrah, 08 Reserva Malbec  and 05 Finca Pedregal Single Vineyard
 Poesia Mendoza 
 Pulenta Estate Mendoza 
 Quattrocchi Mendoza 
 Ruca Malén Mendoza 
 Rutini Wines Mendoza 
 Salentein Mendoza 
 Santa Ana Mendoza 
 Septima Mendoza 
 Sottano Mendoza 
 Tamarí Mendoza 
 Tapiz Mendoza 
 Terrazas de los Andes Mendoza 
 Tierras Altas Mendoza 
 Trapiche Mendoza 
 Viña Cobos Mendoza 
 Vinas de Altura Mendoza 
 Vinedos Urraca Mendoza 
 Xumek San Juan 
 Zorzal Wines Mendoza

A Word About the Water!

Lauquen reserve water was mistaken, by me, to be Vodka on sight.  I didn’t need Vodka, I needed water, and this one was outstanding.  They provided both with and without gas bottles to guests and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with their reps, sobering up with their water, before leaving Argentina behind…

4 thoughts on “LearnAboutWine.com with me: Argentina

  1. So glad you liked our Reserva Malbec! Thanks for stopping by our table to try it. Did you make any notes or remember anything specific from tasting it?

  2. Hi Argento Wine! I'm sorry to say the balancing act (wine glass, pen and pad) restricted me from making any more detailed notes like I was able to do at the class. Feel free to comment back to tell me, and my readers, where we might be able to find your wine in Southern California?

  3. I liked the Argento wines a lot, especially their 100% Bonarda. I was able to take home a bottle (I was working for LearnAboutWine that night), and JD and I enjoyed it with dinner a few nights later.

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