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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Bodega Benegas 2009 Don Tiburcio, Mendoza

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

The Benegas are the founding family of the wine trade in Argentina. Tiburcio Benegas founded the Trapiche winery in the late 19th century. By the 1970′s the family had sold off all their properties except for Bodega Benegas.  As such, this is both a great bottle of wine and a taste of history. The Don Tiburcio is a blend of Bordeaux grapes:  Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Grapes are sourced from their ancestral vineyard where...

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Reginato 2011 Chaman

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

In Argentina, a chaman is  a witch doctor.  Is this a witchy wine? I am not sure, but it is a fine wine, and a surprising departure for the Reginato clan. Up to this point, this winery has focused on sparkling wines. Their traditionally styled  ‘Metodo Tradicional’ bubblies are quite good, perhaps the best made in South America. The younger generation is branching out, crafting still wines for the first time in this winery’s history. The first results are...

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Not Your Uncle Enzo’s Bonarda

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Let’s set the record straight – Croatina is NOTBonarda, although in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna that is how it is erroneously identified. Bonarda is a separate varietal that is extensively cultivated in the Piedmont, showing up in the Nebbiolo based blends of several DOCs in the northern tier of the region. The same varietal that emigrated to South America in the 19th century and is now more widely planted in Argentina than Malbec. The same true Bonarda that is...

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