Erasmo 2009 Red, Maule Valley

Posted in South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

Background European influence has always been a presence in the American wine trade. Up north the effect is more historic, but there are a few winemakers like Philippe Melka  still kicking about, making awesome wines. In South America, it’s a much more palpable influence. The last two decades have seen a great influx of European winemakers.  From Didier Cuvelier of  Chateau Léoville-Poyferré  to the Italian Count Francesco Marone Cinzano of Col d’Orcia estate in...

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Maquis 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

What do Chateau d’Yquem, Joseph Phelps, Leoville Las Cases, Champagne Roederer, and Dominus Estate have in common? They all share the same winemaking consultant,  Xavier Chone.  Originally hailing from Bordeaux, he is considered one of the world’s best living winemakers. The Maquis bottlings from Chile are a rare chance to experience his work without shelling out a fortune. Chone has worked at Vina Maquis for a decade  at this point, ever since the Hurtado family...

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Bodegas La Magdalena 2011 “Sueno” Tempranillo

Posted in South American Wine Reviews, Spanish Wine Reviews

Ribera del Jucar is one of a dozen unknown yet exemplary wine regions in Spain. It’s an ancient wine region that was under vine during the Roman Empire. But it’s also one of the newest; it was only granted it’s Denominación de Origen in 2003. Before that, it was only labelled as an anonymous La Mancha wine. Bodega La Magdelena is the local co-operative, and has been producing bulk wine since 1958.  There are about 300 wineries involved which collectively...

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Bodega Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

This wine is a bit of Argentine history. The Bodega Goulart vineyard was originally planted by Gastao Goulart in 1915 to Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.  At the time, he was a Brazilian political exile living in Argentina at the time. Soon after, he became a South American legend when he returned to  his homeland  and led it’s Constitutional Revolution in 1932.   The vineyard was  lost to time and war, but the vines somehow thrived on their own. Flash forward to 1988,...

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Casa Lapostolle 2010 ”Cuvée Alexandre” Merlot

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

This is a delicious wine styled to be  both plush and pretty.  First is the rich ruby color with glass-staining extraction. Then the aromas of red berries and tarragon traced by a whiff of black pepper. The fruit keeps up the action on the palate, with plum and raspberry the most predominate flavors. A savory note of wet clay and rusted farm equipment keeps the wine from going simple. An element of lemon oil and spice moves into the finish. The fruit keeps on coming. There...

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Clos de los Siete 2009, Mendoza (Argentina)

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Clos de los Siete is a spectacle at the edge of the world. It consists of five great chateaus on the edge of Argentina, close against the Andes Mountains. Each of these estates is run by a one of the leading families of Bordeaux: Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere, Chateau Leoville-Poyferre, Chateau Montviel, Château Clarke, and Château le Bon Pasteur each have their counterpart located here in the Uco Valley. Each of these wineries sources wine from the same three square mile...

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Veramonte 2009 “Primus” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rapel Valley

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Veramonte is a large winery in Chile’s Casablanca Valley, clicking in at just under 500 hectares.  Since its founding, it’s been a US-centric winery, with over 80% of its wines bought by American wine drinkers. That is by design: these are wines that fit our national palate incredibly well. The winery owner, Augustine Huneeus, lives in California, where he owns two other top-notch wineries, Flowers and Quintessa.  One may even think of this as an American winery...

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Mendoza Vineyards 2011 “1907” Malbec, Mendoza

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Sometimes writing up a wine adds more questions than it answers. First of all, who is the winery?  Mendoza Vineyards is the winery on record, but they are a logistics and private label/control brand company. They make wine for other wineries, not themselves.  No winery claims this as there own, which is strange: it’s gotten rave reviews. It’s also apparently sourced from the Fairhills Vineyard in Mendoza, which is one of the very few “Fair Trade”...

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Durigutti 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserva, Mendoza

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

I am very happy to see a bottle of Cabernet Franc coming out of Argentina. This grape varietal is grown in limited quantities in South America,  and it’s mostly used in blends. For those not familiar with Cab Franc, it is one of the least famous of the Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot having much much name recognition. This bottling is a great place to get acquainted with this varietal.  The aromatics are complex and intriguing. Anise and...

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