Familia Zuccardi 2013 “Q” Malbec, Mendoza

Posted in Featured, South American Wine Reviews

Zuccardi is a rock solid winery in Argentina. If you take a Level 3 wine course with me, I just might use this bottle or their Tempranillo as an example of modern Mendoza winemaking. One of my favorite points of this wine is that it is evolving vintage by vintage.  I love how Zuccardi is pulling away from the “Melted Chocolate and Licorice” profile that has become the generic uniform dressing up most Mendoza Malbecs. The “Q” offers minerality, Earl...

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Koyle 2012 “Gran Reserva” Carmenere, Colchagua Valley

Posted in Featured, South American Wine Reviews

Koyle is one of those wineries that pops into the marketplace once or twice a year, only to disappear as quickly as it came.  The wines are fantastic, but inventory is clearly an issue. I recommend picking them up when you see them. This is a classic Carmenere; one of the original grapes of Bordeaux and a kissing cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon.   Aromatics of pipe tobacco and pencil shavings are offset by a core of dark fruit. Flavors of Earl Grey tea and cassis move into...

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Puramun 2012 “Reserva” Malbec, Valle de Uco

Posted in Featured, South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

Puramun is a new project by Jose Galante, one of the finest winemakers in Argentina. He was the man behind Catena Zapata from the 1970’s until a few years ago. Sourced from Uco Valley, this Malbec offers up all the classic Argentine Malbec notes (dark fruit, chocolate, soft tannins) along with plenty of frills and thrills. Toasted coconut and spice accent a savory combination of raspberry coulis and rose buds.

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Altocedro 2012 Malbec Reserva

Posted in Featured, South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

A bold, full bodied wine with lots of complexity. Aromas of smoky oak, vanilla, cola, black cherry, and spice. The palate pushes into mocha and cinnamon territory with a draping of dark fruit and forest fire. This is the big and lush and silky Malbec that anyone who loves Malbec with fall in love with: a classic Mendoza wine turned up to 11.  

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Finca Flichman 2013 “Paisaje de Barrancas” Mendoza

Posted in South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

This is a growling beast of a wine, trained from birth to dominate the dining room table and chew up any wine glass it is poured into. The nose is oak-dominant with toasted spice and sweet vanilla that turn quickly into toasted caramel and burning chocolate. Flavors of dark fruit and creme de cassis turn are tucked into a tannic frame and a big lush body. This one has a smooth and boozy character that will please and delight any fan of New World wines. Paisaje de Barrancas,...

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Maquis 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley

Posted in South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

A lush and delightful bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from one the world’s top Cabernet growing regions. Aromas of liquorice and sandalwood are accented by iron and fresh leather. On the palate, cream and espresso move into a napoleon of black fruit and belgian chocolate. Elements of thyme and black pepper arrive in the finish, with a final poof of charcoal. This is a cool climate cabernet, well-proportioned and in balance. This is the second vintage of this wine to hit...

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Luigi Bosca 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza

Posted in Featured, South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

A remarkable value for Cabernet Sauvignon. When buying wines from Mendoza, it’s best to know where in the region the wine is from. After all, Mendoza is HUGE. This bottle comes from the Le Paraiso vineyard in Maipu. Winemaking is pretty straightforward and modern, aged for about a year in French oak, half of which is new. Argentina is seeing a lot of French influence these days (and not just the oak barrels). This wine shows a very Bordeaux-like character, or even...

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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, 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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