Zuccardi 2008 “Q Series” Tempranillo, Mendoza

Posted by Keith Wallace

It smells like a little coffee house on fire, but without the hipsters. Yes,  that’s a good thing. This bottle is all about the oak.

Full-bodied, the wine sports a round, fleshy structure with cola and espresso notes on the attack and licorice and dark fruits on the midpalate, with just an edge of chocolate. The oak flavors keep coming with vanilla and cinnamon on the finish.

The family-run winery started in the 1950s as an irrigation company, branching out into wine production in the following decades. They are now one of the largest producers and exporters of Argentinean wine.  This bottle was sourced from an estate vineyard planted at the foot of the Andes Mountains in 1974.  While Tempranillo is not a well-known grape in the United States, it is planted extensively throughout Argentina.

About Mendoza Wine

Argentina contains the greatest concentration of high-altitude vineyards in the world. Altitude has become such a status symbol for growers in Mendoza that they almost dare each other to plant slightly higher with each new vineyard, with the best wines boasting their altitude as if it were a grand cru classification. Vineyards are commonly found at 900 to 1,050 meters (3,000–3,500 feet), whereas in much of Europe, 480 meters (1,600 feet) is considered the upper limit for ripening. Many vineyards have been planted at 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), while Donald Hess, not satisfied with his Colome vineyard at 2,250 meters (7,500 feet), has planted another at 3,000 meters (9,900 feet)! One advantage of growing grapes at such heights is that they benefit from extended hang-time without producing too big and alcoholic wines.

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