I haven’t done a “One Bottle Post” in awhile because I had so much to write about from my Paso Robles trip. So, it was nice to segue from California to Mendoza, Argentina, to use my WSET education and take my time to evaluate a Malbec blend I had never had before from winemaker Michel Rolland.
08 Clos de los Siete
From the Uco Valley, about 120 Km South of the city of Mendoza in Argentina.
56% Malbec, 21% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot.
Color: Clear, dark ruby, with a viscosity that coated my glass with voluptuous legs.
Aroma, in order of appearance: Cherry, bell pepper, mint, possibly some mushroom.
Quite a delight to linger over and contemplate.
Taste: Coating my mouth, as well as it did my glass, with a nice viscosity, then giving way to a pleasant balance of tannin and fruit that made me question the vintage year – it tasted a wee bit older than an 08. From there I was treated to deepened fruit, more blackberry. And with a long, pleasurable finish, I could count to at least ten before I just had to add more to my wanting palate.
90 Eve points.
A funny note on the foil, cork and bottle: I don’t usually spend a nanosecond here but, the foil capsule was loose enough to pull off without the use of the serrated knife on my corkscrew. (Does anyone know if that means anything?) Regardless, I paid closer attention than I usually do to the cork, expecting it to be dried out, or just plain difficult to remove. The cork came out cleanly, a little tight, but the opening on the bottle was slightly narrower than most. I only know that for sure as it was difficult to slide my wine pourer/stopper into the bottle. I’ve never encountered this in an Argentinean wine before either…
I asked a brand representative about the foil and was told, “Interesting note on the foil – the bottle is a Bordeaux style bottle, which is where its unique shape comes from. While the foil is not taught as you might find on some bottles, it shouldn’t interfere with the quality of the bottling and, in turn, the wine.”
I had to agree – it certainly didn’t effect the quality of the wine! So if your bottle looks like this you now know why!
Excerpts from the technical sheet:
Location: Canton de Tunuyan (120 km south of Mendoza)
Climate: Continental with low rainfall.
Soil: Sand and clay with large pebbles.
Altitude: 1000 m
Transport: Gravity, no pumping.
Maturing: 11 months with 1/3 in 100% new French oak barrels, 1/3 in one year old barrels, and 1/3 in vat.
No fining, no filtration.
Wine Spectator: 08 Clos de los Siete Mendoza 89 points, $19: Quite ripe, but focused and juicy, with blueberry, açaí berry and bramble notes laced with fruitcake and spice hints. A nice briary edge keeps the finish honest. Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. –JM
(Disclosure: I didn’t pay for the wine, it was sent to me for review. This post originally ran in my Eve Wine 101 column in the West Ranch Beacon. They allow me to reprint my own words and I wanted to get my own words out there a second time. One reader did ask where to purchase and I found it at Vino 100 Valencia.
Where I quickly purchased another bottle.)