25 October, 2008

Wines of Argentina Visit SF: Recap and review

Once again, Fort Mason provided a dramatically beautiful back drop to an evening of delicious discovery. My exposure to Argentinian Malbecs had been limited, so I jumped at the chance to sample so many in one spot. I was also secretly hoping to plump out a few more Century Club exotic varietals. The sign up sheet promised "Tasting the Great Wines of Argentina: Salta to Patagonia" And they really did deliver. No matter what your predilection, I'm sure one of the many knowledgeable and friendly purveyors could have hooked you up. Between Xandria and me, we meant to put a focused tasting plan in action, but instead got drawn in by the many yummy selections. We decided to target Torrontes first and sample all the table offerings where found that wine. After we swept the Torrontes, we got kind of ghetto and ranked the selections highest priced descending and hit those. And so it goes, my notes get less and less legible as the evening progresses. However, here are the most interesting things we tried:
Andeluna Cellars: '05 Reserve Cabernet (Uco Valley-Mendoza),
'03 Grand Reserve Pasionado -Bordeaux Blend (Mendoza),
'07 Winemaker's Selecetion Torrontes (Mendoza) Andeluna has high quality, mature/old vines grown at high elevation. Additionally, they produce only about 10 tons per hectare. The concentrated flavors and focus on quality was delightful. The Torrontes has delicious floral-y, honey aromas and flavors. The Cab was a stunning wine with many Napa-like qualities that compared favorably with wines twice its price. We highly recommend searching Andeluna out.

Terrazas: '05 Cheval des Andes Another high elevation produced premium wine, this Bordeaux blend had delicious flavors, beautiful colors and an interesting tannic structure. If you've ever felt the quickfire burn of wasabi as opposed to the lingering blaze of jalapeno, similarly, this wine had an immediate tannic blast, which vanished. Interesting.

Dante Robino: '06 Gran Dante Malbec (Lujan de Cuyo-Malbec), Dry, complex and fruity. Soft, round tannins with lovely oak.

Dominio del Plata: '08 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes (Salta) Accessible, affordable easy to find wine. With Aromas of lychee and lime and nicely balanced sweetness and acidity.
'06 Crios de Susana Balbo Syrah (Mendoza) Butterscotchy oak aromas, lovely dark color soft tannic structure.

Century Club entries? Yes! Bonarda and Tannat!
Delicious Torrontes? Yes!

Worth Checking out? Yes!
O. Fournier http://ofournier.com/
Quara http://lavaque.com/
Bodegas Salentien http://bodegasalentien.com/
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