MalbecsOnly Honor Roll – Spring 2019

Here are the wines we’re drinking right now that are an exceptional value for their price range, vintage after vintage.

Cuvelier Los Andes Colección – The renowned Cuvelier Family is best known in France for their Château Léoville Poyferré, one of the most consistent providers of high-quality Bordeaux in France. Their vintage wines sell for $200 and beyond and have been known to age beautifully for decades. The Cuvelier brought their talents to Argentina’s Uco Valley in conjunction with Michel Rolland’s Clos de los Siete project, determined to prove they could create wines of similar quality. Their Grand Vin ($35) and Grand Malbec ($60) are terrific, but the champion for value is their Coleccion, arguably the best $20 bottle of Argentine red you cay buy.

Tres14 – Trapiche’s chief winemaker Daniel Pi has his own “garage winery” for his personal projects, and the brand is an amusing riff on his last name, as in 3.14. Clever, yes?This bottle is usually in the $50 range, and it’s available at Total Wine.

Tres14 “Imperfecto” – Another Daniel Pi garagista wine, the name Imperfecto is coined from the “contamination” of the Malbec with 3% Cabernet Franc. This absolutely delicious $60 bottle is available in the US at Total Wine.

Catena Appellation Series – Vista Flores and Lunlunta – We hear that these $20 bottles were originally intended to be exclusive to restaurants, but somewhere along the way the plan changed and they’re now available in select retail stores. Bodega Catena Zapata does a beautiful job in every price range – perhaps no one has invested more in science and research to understand the Argentine terroir. We’re particular fans of the Lunlunta version, if you can find it in your store.

Cheval des Andes – You won’t find a more worthy splurge than this $90 wine, a joint venture between Argentine wine giant Terrazas de los Andes and France’s Château Cheval Blanc. This is as serious as winemaking gets in South America, and spends 15 to 18 months in oak barrels. Cheval des Andes has been getting added finesse in the last few years. If you prefer a big wine for steak, look for the 2010 and 2011 bottles and if you want something more balanced and elegant, look into the later vintages. We’ve seen 2011 bottles at Green’s in Atlanta for as little as $55.

Seeing How The Other Hemisphere Lives

© Carneros Wine Alliance

As you know, this site is all about the celebration of Argentine wine – and it always will be. But I’ve been invited to visit friends in Napa Valley next week.

I think it will be fascinating after four trips to Mendoza, to compare and contrast what the California wine community and tasting experience is like.

I already have some built-in assumptions about what I’ll find – too expensive, too jammy – so it will be very interesting to see what reality is.

Unfortunately, the weather will be quite cold and rainy, but there should be ample red wine to warm things up! Look for frequent posts on Facebook from the trip.

Fierro Hotel – a Buenos Aires hideaway filled with tasteful indulgences

After 10 days on the road in Mendoza and Buenos Aires, it’s fair to say our #MalbecsOnly2018 group have have been no strangers to indulgence.

Lavish meals, incredible tastings, inspiring sites, too many memories, a photo cloud that’s bursting at the seams.

After a while, it can all become a bit of a blur. Which is why it takes a truly unusual hotel to stand out – which is what we have found at the Fierro Hotel in the Palermo Hollywood barrio of Buenos Aires.

 

In our experience in Argentina, there are intimate boutique hotels that are warm and welcoming (like Casa Glebinias and Miravida Soho), and there are giant hotels (like the Four Seasons and Park Hyatt) that offer 5-star indulgence and posh amenities.

 

The Fierro brilliantly bridges that gap. From homemade scones, the trip’s best medialunas, and impossibly fresh homemade organic yogurt to the rooftop pool, huge contemporary rooms (4 to a floor) with wet bar, fully-stocked wine refrigerator and Nespresso machine; comfortably huge dual-nozzle showers with enough glorious water pressure to wash a small vehicle, and the on-point front desk team, the Fierro is the kind of place where you would love to just check in for a few months and let the rest of the world take care of itself.

 

The cuisine at Uco, the onsite restaurant, arguably justifies its ranking among BA’s best restaurants. Chef Edward Holloway has developed a menu that respects Argentine tradition without being slavish to it – there are cues from Peru and other South American countries. The trophy dish is Patagonian lamb shoulder slow cooked for 18 hours, and it’s as good as it sounds. The South American paellas are more like dense broth-cooked risottos than the yellow rice dishes we’ve come to identify with Spain. We tried both the rabbit paella and the Peruvian seafood rice dish and both were among the favorite bites of our travels.

 

The wine list, quite simply, rocks. Premium bottles, reasonably priced and thoughtfully curated. No, you’re not going to find as many $4000 bottles here as the Park Hyatt. (But really, unless you were planning to sell an organ, you’ll find more than enough to hold your interest here.)

We attended a free wine tasting at the Vinoteca, the attached wine shop, and despite having just returned from 12 winery visits in Mendoza (this is where we receive the grapes, this is where we fill the tanks, blah, blah, blah), the information offered by Manuel (complete with charts, maps, and photographs) was fresh, relevant and added to our depth of understanding of Argentinean wine.

 

 

This is also the most time we’ve spent in Palermo Hollywood (through the years I’ve always been partial to Palermo Soho) and have discovered that this neighborhood has charms of its own. Fewer designer clothing stores, yes, but a little more chill – and maybe a bit more of a genuine neighborhood feel (think Tribeca as opposed to Soho.)

We invited longtime friends from Buenos Aires over to the hotel for dinner, and al fresco dining at Uco served as the perfect backdrop for our happy reunion.

We’ll be back.

Latest News

2 days ago

MalbecsOnly

Returning to Mendoza in one week! What wineries should we visit? ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

MalbecsOnly

First bottle in Napa. (This one’s from Sonoma, actually.) #malbecsonlyvisitsNapa #howtheotherhemispherelives ... See MoreSee Less

First bottle in Napa. (This one’s from Sonoma, actually.) #malbecsonlyvisitsNapa #howtheotherhemispherelives

 

Comment on Facebook

Very, very good. Elegant and substantial, clearly made with great finesse. Favorite wine of one of my hosts. Robert Parker himself reviewed this (95 points) and says, “The 2014 Mekarra Proprietary Red is a Cheval Blanc-like blend of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Franc from his vineyard in Knights Valley. It is a sexy, open-knit, expansive and savory style of wine, with loads of Christmas fruitcake, licorice, black cherry and blackcurrant jam, a touch of asphalt, and a long, full-bodied, voluptuously textured finish. It is very much in keeping with the easygoing but alluring and sexy style of the 2014s in Northern California. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.”

2 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Seeing How The Other Hemisphere Lives

As you know, this blog is all about the celebration of Argentine wine - and it always will be. But I've been invited to visit friends in Napa Valley next week.

I think it will be fascinating after four trips to Mendoza, to compare and contrast what the California wine community and tasting experience is like.

I already have some built-in assumptions about what I'll find - too expensive, too jammy - so it will be very interesting to see what reality is.

Unfortunately, the weather will be quite cold and rainy, but there should be ample red wine to warm things up! Look for frequent posts on Facebook from the trip.
... See MoreSee Less

Seeing How The Other Hemisphere Lives

As you know, this blog is all about the celebration of Argentine wine - and it always will be. But Ive been invited to visit friends in Napa Valley next week.

I think it will be fascinating after four trips to Mendoza, to compare and contrast what the California wine community and tasting experience is like.

I already have some built-in assumptions about what Ill find - too expensive, too jammy - so it will be very interesting to see what reality is.

Unfortunately, the weather will be quite cold and rainy, but there should be ample red wine to warm things up! Look for frequent posts on Facebook from the trip.

 

Comment on Facebook

Look forward to reading about your CA Experience.... Cheers from the Realm of Malbec !!!

2 months ago

MalbecsOnly

So, how was your evening?

#PaulHobbs #Mendoza #WorldClass #Malbec
... See MoreSee Less

So, how was your evening?

#PaulHobbs #Mendoza #WorldClass #Malbec

 

Comment on Facebook

Agreed

Spectacular! We were with you!!

5 months ago

MalbecsOnly

The last night of service at Atlanta’s best restaurant, Better Half, deserves one of America’s last bottles of this. ... See MoreSee Less

The last night of service at Atlanta’s best restaurant, Better Half, deserves one of America’s last bottles of this.

6 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Paul Hobbs’ Bramare line includes these regional versions, and then a more expensive, single-vineyard line. Both are excellent for their price point. This bottle retails for around $40 USD. ... See MoreSee Less

Paul Hobbs’ Bramare line includes these regional versions, and then a more expensive, single-vineyard line. Both are excellent for their price point. This bottle retails for around $40 USD.

6 months ago

MalbecsOnly

The Argentina peso is nearing 37 to $1 USD. Mind-boggling. ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Time to lock in Peso prices at this favorable rate.....

9 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Pulled out this rare South American beauty tonight to enjoy with the Coravin. Five different varietals from seven different vineyards across Mendoza. Vines ranging from 6 to 87 years of age, aged 18 months in new French oak. Delicious blend. ... See MoreSee Less

Pulled out this rare South American beauty tonight to enjoy with the Coravin. Five different varietals from seven different vineyards across Mendoza. Vines ranging from 6 to 87 years of age, aged 18 months in new French oak. Delicious blend.

 

Comment on Facebook

Looks great. Stephen, how do you like your Coravin? I’ve been looking at them but have yet to decide which model.

An Excellent Blend, mostly unavailable in the USA. The regular Encuentro varietals are more widespread, but it’s this blend and a 100% Pinot sparkler that are the two best offerings from this line of Wines.

10 months ago

MalbecsOnly

There are only two pieces of wine journalism we spend money on every year - one is a subscription to RobertParker.com and the other is the annual Argentina Wine Report from Britain's Tim Atkin.

The new report is just out this week, and it's worth every penny of the $27 download. It includes tasting notes on over 900 of the country's best wines as well as drinking windows.

We've tasted several of Atkin's top-rated wines and find that his tastes largely match ours. This is worth your money.

www.timatkin.com/reports/2018-argentina-special-report
... See MoreSee Less

There are only two pieces of wine journalism we spend money on every year - one is a subscription to RobertParker.com and the other is the annual Argentina Wine Report from Britains Tim Atkin. 

The new report is just out this week, and its worth every penny of the $27 download. It includes tasting notes on over 900 of the countrys best wines as well as drinking windows. 

Weve tasted several of Atkins top-rated wines and find that his tastes largely match ours. This is worth your money. 

http://www.timatkin.com/reports/2018-argentina-special-report

 

Comment on Facebook

Thank you. That made my day!

11 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Happy #MalbecWorldDay, from the page that celebrates it every day! MalbecsOnly.com ... See MoreSee Less

Happy #MalbecWorldDay, from the page that celebrates it every day! MalbecsOnly.com

11 months ago

MalbecsOnly

To say that our first group trip was amazing would be an understatement. ... See MoreSee Less

To say that our first group trip was amazing would be an understatement.

11 months ago

MalbecsOnly

After 10 days on the road in Mendoza and Buenos Aires, it's fair to say our #MalbecsOnly2018 group have have been no strangers to indulgence.

Lavish meals, incredible tastings, inspiring sites, too many memories, a photo cloud that's bursting at the seams. After a while, it can all become a bit of a blur. Which is why it takes a truly unusual hotel to stand out - which is what we have found at the Fierro Hotel Boutique Buenos Aires in the Palermo Hollywood barrio.

In our experience in Argentina, there are intimate boutique hotels that are warm and welcoming (like Casa Glebinias and Miravida Soho), and there are giant hotels (like the Four Seasons and Park Hyatt) that offer 5-star indulgence and posh amenities.

The Fierro brilliantly bridges that gap. From homemade scones, the trip's best medialunas, and impossibly fresh homemade organic yogurt to the rooftop pool, huge contemporary rooms (4 to a floor) with wet bar, fully-stocked wine refrigerator and Nespresso machine; comfortably huge dual-nozzle showers with enough glorious water pressure to wash a small vehicle, and the on-point front desk team, the Fierro is the kind of place where you would love to just check in for a few months and let the rest of the world take care of itself.

The cuisine at UCO Restaurant, the onsite restaurant, arguably justifies its ranking among BA's best restaurants. Chef Edward Holloway has developed a menu that respects Argentine tradition without being slavish to it - there are cues from Peru and other South American countries. The trophy dish is Patagonian lamb shoulder slow cooked for 18 hours, and it's as good as it sounds. The South American paellas are more like dense broth-cooked risottos than the yellow rice dishes we've come to identify with Spain. We tried both the rabbit paella and the Peruvian seafood rice dish and both were among the favorite bites of our travels.

The wine list, quite simply, rocks. Premium bottles, reasonably priced and thoughtfully curated. No, you're not going to find as many $4000 bottles here as the Park Hyatt. (But really, unless you were planning to sell an organ, you'll find more than enough to hold your interest here.)

We attended a free wine tasting at the Vinoteca, the attached wine shop, and despite having just returned from 12 winery visits in Mendoza (this is where we receive the grapes, this is where we fill the tanks, blah, blah, blah), the information offered by Manuel (complete with charts, maps, and photographs) was fresh, relevant and added to our depth of understanding of Argentinean wine.

This is also the most time we've spent in Palermo Hollywood (through the years I've always been partial to Palermo Soho) and have discovered that this neighborhood has charms of its own. Fewer designer clothing stores, yes, but a little more chill - and maybe a bit more of a genuine neighborhood feel (think Tribeca as opposed to Soho.)

We invited longtime friends from Buenos Aires over to the hotel for dinner, and al fresco dining at Uco served as the perfect backdrop for our happy reunion.

We'll be back.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

12 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Our last amazing breakfast at Fierro Hotel Boutique Buenos Aires. We will miss this place. ... See MoreSee Less

Our last amazing breakfast at Fierro Hotel Boutique Buenos Aires. We will miss this place.

12 months ago

MalbecsOnly

There is no better place to celebrate life with friends than Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, with some help from our friends at Catena Zapata ... See MoreSee Less

There is no better place to celebrate life with friends than Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, with some help from our friends at Catena Zapata

12 months ago

MalbecsOnly

We are LOVING our first stay at Fierro Hotel Boutique Buenos Aires. The restaurant, Uco, is among the best in the city and the breakfasts are legendary, with daily specials and what may be the world’s fresher homemade yogurt. More photos and info on this wine-centric boutique hotel soon. ... See MoreSee Less

We are LOVING our first stay at Fierro Hotel Boutique Buenos Aires. The restaurant, Uco, is among the best in the city and the breakfasts are legendary, with daily specials and what may be the world’s fresher homemade yogurt. More photos and info on this wine-centric boutique hotel soon.

 

Comment on Facebook

The Fierro is indeed a Great Hotel. Ed and his team do an amazing job !!!

12 months ago

MalbecsOnly

What a day crossing the Andes from Chile to Mendoza. Ever-changing vistas and a first rate introduction to Argentine cuisine. Something we’ll always remember. #MalbecsOnly2018 ... See MoreSee Less

What a day crossing the Andes from Chile to Mendoza. Ever-changing  vistas and a first rate introduction to Argentine cuisine. Something we’ll always remember. #MalbecsOnly2018

12 months ago

MalbecsOnly

What an enormous honor for Catena Zapata! The world’s most-awarded winery, as chosen by Vivino users.

twitter.com/catenamalbec/status/975754317981462529?s=21

Catena on Twitter
“Over 26 million users voted in @Vivino’s 2018 #WineStyle Awards, recognizing the best and most beloved wines from around the 🌎. Immensely honoured to have received the distinction of #Vivino’s Most Awarded Winery - a triumph for us, and for Argentine Wine. 🇦🇷🍷 #CatenaDream https:/...
... See MoreSee Less

Catena on Twitter

 

Comment on Facebook

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Planning dinner for our first group trip to Argentina next week. Research, research.... ... See MoreSee Less

Planning dinner for our first group trip to Argentina next week. Research, research....

 

Comment on Facebook

Two big Malbecs from Mendoza.... not sure what sort of availability they have in the US...?

Beautiful stain down the front of the Gran Malbec complements of me. Got most of the wine in the glass ...

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Coming soon: our first group tour! Follow #malbecsonlytour2018 for photos and posts.

Stephen Curry is leading a group of good friends to #Mendoza #Argentina this month and (if we don't kill each other) this will be the first of many MalbecsOnly group trips!

On the agenda:

Surprise tastings, guests and activities.
Top wineries like Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete, Bodega Flechas De Los Andes, Viña Cobos, Bodegas Salentein.
Amazing food from acclaimed chef Nadia Haron, Bodega Lagarde, La Azul Resto, Francis Mallmann's Siete Fuegos and more.

We can't wait to see everyone!

Próximamente: ¡nuestra primera gira grupal! Siga # malbecsonlytour2018 para fotos y publicaciones.

Stephen Curry lidera este mes a un grupo de buenos amigos de #Mendoza #Argentina y (si no nos matamos entre nosotros) este será el primero de muchos viajes grupales de Malbecs.

En la agenda:

Degustaciones sorpresa, invitados y actividades.
Las mejores bodegas como Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete, Bodega Flechas de los Andes, Viña Cobos, Bodegas Salentein.
Comida increíble de la aclamada chef Nadia Haron, Bodega Lagarde, La Azul Resto y más.

No podemos esperar para ver a todos!
... See MoreSee Less

Coming soon: our first group tour! Follow #malbecsonlytour2018 for photos and posts.

Stephen Curry is leading a group of good friends to #Mendoza #Argentina this month and (if we dont kill each other) this will be the first of many MalbecsOnly group trips! 

On the agenda:

Surprise tastings, guests and activities.
Top wineries like Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete, Bodega Flechas De Los Andes, Viña Cobos, Bodegas Salentein. 
Amazing food from acclaimed chef Nadia Haron, Bodega Lagarde, La Azul Resto, Francis Mallmanns Siete Fuegos and more.

We cant wait to see everyone!

Próximamente: ¡nuestra primera gira grupal! Siga # malbecsonlytour2018 para fotos y publicaciones.

Stephen Curry lidera este mes a un grupo de buenos amigos de #Mendoza #Argentina y (si no nos matamos entre nosotros) este será el primero de muchos viajes grupales de Malbecs.

En la agenda:

Degustaciones sorpresa, invitados y actividades.
Las mejores bodegas como Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete, Bodega Flechas de los Andes, Viña Cobos, Bodegas Salentein.
Comida increíble de la aclamada chef Nadia Haron, Bodega Lagarde, La Azul Resto y más.

No podemos esperar para ver a todos!

 

Comment on Facebook

Like our page to see photos from our trip! Siga nuestra página para ver fotos de nuestro viaje!

This is wonderful Stephen!

Congratulations Steve !!!

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

First warm day of the year! Celebrating. ... See MoreSee Less

First warm day of the year! Celebrating.

 

Comment on Facebook

The aromas just burst out of the glass with this elegant blend.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

What a beautiful, beautiful bottle of wine from Finca Sophenia. Can’t wait to be back in Mendoza next month! It’s our first (hopefully) of many group trips to Argentina. ... See MoreSee Less

What a beautiful, beautiful bottle of wine from Finca Sophenia. Can’t wait to be back in Mendoza next month! It’s our first (hopefully) of many group trips to Argentina.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

... See MoreSee Less

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

In honor of the Southern snowstorm, the Coravin is going to open one of my oldest bottles. ... See MoreSee Less

In honor of the Southern snowstorm, the Coravin is going to open one of my oldest bottles.

 

Comment on Facebook

It's really good now.

I bought this on your reco. Haven’t had it yet though.

Good one!

How was it?

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Catena’s appellation series continues to impress us with its quality and value. Our personal favorite: the Lunlunta Malbec 2014. You definitely get the dark and red berry aromatics they describe on the label. As well as the “lengthy mid-palate and ripe silky finish.” ... See MoreSee Less

Catena’s appellation series continues to impress us with its quality and value. Our personal favorite: the Lunlunta Malbec 2014. You definitely get the dark and red berry aromatics they describe on the label. As well as the “lengthy mid-palate and ripe silky finish.”

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Enjoying the last of Thanksgiving weekend with good friends and this really nice blend from Riglos. 21 months in French oak. Lordy! But after decanting it reveals notes of anise and a beautiful flavor. ... See MoreSee Less

Enjoying the last of Thanksgiving weekend with good friends and this really nice blend from Riglos. 21 months in French oak. Lordy! But after decanting it reveals notes of anise and a beautiful flavor.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

First let me say, it was my fault I got lost. Very lost.

As in, by myself at 11 pm in the dark on dirt roads lost. Not one electric light anywhere on the horizon.

As in, upset man on a motorcycle chasing me to tell me I was trespassing, lost.

It's indeed possible to run away to the end of the world, to a paradise where no one can find you.

But first, you have to find it.

La Morada de los Andes gives you excellent directions. They tell you not to use Google Maps, or Apple Maps. But do we Gringos listen? Noooooooo.

Welcome to the boundaries of civilization, where your faith in technology has to be surrendered. And your faith in humanity can be restored.

Because Marcela was waiting up to make me empanadas. At 9 PM, at 10 PM, at 11 PM. Way past her bedtime. Way past when she was supposed to go home.

My last-minute plans for Mendoza started with reservations for the usual places. Mendoza City, or Chacras. But after briefly visiting the Uco Valley and staying at the Vines of Mendoza, I longed to return.

The Vines is amazing. But $800/night just isn't a reality for some of us. So using Google Maps, I set out to find a place that could give me similar views, in a similar setting.

TripAdvisor confirmed that this little place called La Morada was getting stellar reviews.

And I could tell it was right across the street from The Vines. Well, sort of. If you mean down two miles of unmarked, private dirt roads is across the street.

(Roads that both Google and Apple refuse to include in their mapping. Since you have an entire world to run away from, maybe it's for the best.)

La Morada is a modern, welcoming guesthouse with every convenience, set in the middle of a burgeoning vineyard project. Its four rooms may be the most comfortable way to experience the solitude of the Uco Valley.

And if you get lost like me? Put The Vines of Mendoza in your GPS. Pull up to the guard gate, and they'll point you towards the entrance, just a hundred yards down the street. That's what finally did it for me.
... See MoreSee Less

First let me say, it was my fault I got lost. Very lost. 

As in, by myself at 11 pm in the dark on dirt roads lost. Not one electric light anywhere on the horizon. 

As in, upset man on a motorcycle chasing me to tell me I was trespassing, lost. 

Its indeed possible to run away to the end of the world, to a paradise where no one can find you. 

But first, you have to find it.

La Morada de los Andes gives you excellent directions. They tell you not to use Google Maps, or Apple Maps. But do we Gringos listen? Noooooooo. 

Welcome to the boundaries of civilization, where your faith in technology has to be surrendered. And your faith in humanity can be restored. 

Because Marcela was waiting up to make me empanadas. At 9 PM, at 10 PM, at 11 PM. Way past her bedtime. Way past when she was supposed to go home.

My last-minute plans for Mendoza started with reservations for the usual places. Mendoza City, or Chacras. But after briefly visiting the Uco Valley and staying at the Vines of Mendoza, I longed to return. 

The Vines is amazing. But $800/night just isnt a reality for some of us. So using Google Maps, I set out to find a place that could give me similar views, in a similar setting. 

TripAdvisor confirmed that this little place called La Morada was getting stellar reviews. 

And I could tell it was right across the street from The Vines. Well, sort of. If you mean down two miles of unmarked, private dirt roads is across the street. 

(Roads that both Google and Apple refuse to include in their mapping. Since you have an entire world to run away from, maybe its for the best.)

La Morada is a modern, welcoming guesthouse with every convenience, set in the middle of a burgeoning vineyard project. Its four rooms may be the most comfortable way to experience the solitude of the Uco Valley. 

And if you get lost like me? Put The Vines of Mendoza in your GPS. Pull up to the guard gate, and theyll point you towards the entrance, just a hundred yards down the street. Thats what finally did it for me.

 

Comment on Facebook

That is beautiful! So glad you found your way. Enjoy!

Thank you!!!

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Wherever I go, wine creates friends.

And this visit to Mendoza was no exception. Which leads to my visit to SuperUco.

This particular visit to Mendoza wasn't particularly well-planned. I just sort of, showed up.

Despite my lack of planning, my driver from La Morada de los Andes was able to make things happen: "We have a tasting at SuperUco. But we have to be there in TEN MINUTES!"

We scrambled into the truck and I made it over to the last seat at a tasting that was well underway.

It didn't take two minutes for the coincidences to kick in. I was surrounded by a table of Americans. Not just Americans, but fellow Atlantans. We discovered common friends, common interests, and the conversation flowed as freely as the wine that was being generously poured by the Michelini family.

The renegade Michelini brothers are known for pushing the boundaries of Argentine wine, as evidenced by their labels Zorzal and Passionate Wines. They were the first in the region to experiment with egg-shaped concrete tanks, when everyone else was still dumping everything into oak barrels.

But it's SuperUco, a surreal, modernist building that houses a completely biodynamic bodega near Tunuyán, that is their true realization of a dream: an uncompromising taste of the terroir of the Uco Valley.

Chickens and other farm animals roam freely among the grapes, leaving their "presents" to fertilize their two hectares of soil.

Here the brothers Michelini are making wines from high-altitude vineyards in Gualtallary, Los Chacayes, and Altamira, ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 feet. The alluvial and colluvial soils are the result of erosion from the pre-Andes of millions of years ago.

As the English translation of their website puts it "the roots grow embraced to the stones, from which they take the nutrients and their unique character."

Enough with the geology lesson. How do the wines taste? Freaking great.

In fermentation here, the wines here never touch stainless steel. They are in materials like concrete, and wood. Whenever there is a natural option, the Michelinis opt for it. They use indigenous yeasts. They never filter the wine. They never use sulfates, or overextract.

It's an uncompromising approach that results in wines with a personality all their own. They've even trained every vine into a heart shape, the vineyard's personal signature.

In the States, you can find wines ranging from Calcareo Rio de Los Chacayes at around $35 to Calcareo Granito Malbec for about $75. Only in Argentina can you purchase their icon wines, the top of the line Genitori Gualta and Genitori Mio ($175).

One can always debate how much a top wine should cost, but the answer of course is to try them for yourself, and decide just how much a taste of freedom is worth.
... See MoreSee Less

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1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

We love making trips with Miguel Sanz of Driving Mendoza Wine Tours. Highly recommended.Matheu and Casey at Vistaba Winery today ... See MoreSee Less

We love making trips with Miguel Sanz of Driving Mendoza Wine Tours. Highly recommended.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Choripan in Buenos Aires! Thanks to Alejandro Soler of Malambo Vinoteca Almacen Criollo for the recommendation! ... See MoreSee Less

Choripan in Buenos Aires! Thanks to Alejandro Soler of Malambo Vinoteca Almacen Criollo for the recommendation!

 

Comment on Facebook

French bread Argentinean sausage and chimichurri sauce! Heaven

Now that looks like a hot dog!

Choripan

Stupid auto-correct. Alejandro, I know how to spell your name!

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Not only does staying at Miravida Soho Hotel & Wine Bar begin with a perfect breakfast in a peaceful little courtyard, but when evening comes you can enjoy premium wines by the glass that are unavailable by the glass elsewhere in the city, even at the Park Hyatt. ... See MoreSee Less

Not only does staying at Miravida Soho Hotel & Wine Bar begin with a perfect breakfast in a peaceful little courtyard, but when evening comes you can enjoy premium wines by the glass that are unavailable by the glass elsewhere in the city, even at the Park Hyatt.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Limited battery and wifi, but today began with a fantastic visit with the Michelini family at SuperUco. So much more to tell! ... See MoreSee Less

Limited battery and wifi, but today began with a fantastic visit with the Michelini family at SuperUco. So much more to tell!

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Now that's a sight to wake up to. Good morning, Uco Valley. ... See MoreSee Less

Now thats a sight to wake up to. Good morning, Uco Valley.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

We're here! At last. This beautiful malbec is literally made next door at Clos de Los Siete. Empanada time! ... See MoreSee Less

Were here! At last. This beautiful malbec is literally made next door at Clos de Los Siete. Empanada time!

 

Comment on Facebook

It appears you can't get this wine in the States. (It also appears I'll be bringing some back.)

Steve, will you be coming through Buenos Aires...??

No wonder it can't be found online. It's exclusive to this guest house. And no wonder I love it: it's made by Flechas de Los Andes.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

I was hoping we were starting to build a fan base, but alas, they're here for #Oasis. #ParkHyatt #PalacioDuhau ... See MoreSee Less

I was hoping we were starting to build a fan base, but alas, theyre here for #Oasis. #ParkHyatt #PalacioDuhau

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Still Buenos Aires' nicest place to have a glass of wine. ... See MoreSee Less

Still Buenos Aires nicest place to have a glass of wine.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

This is the biggest trip we've done in years to #Argentina. Can't wait!!! #malbec #vino #Mendoza ... See MoreSee Less

This is the biggest trip weve done in years to #Argentina. Cant wait!!! #malbec #vino #Mendoza

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Guess where we're going to be this week? Shopping for a hotel room right now. #Argentina #Mendoza #ChacrasDeCoria #UcoValley #Maipu #Lujan ... See MoreSee Less

Guess where were going to be this week? Shopping for a hotel room right now. #Argentina #Mendoza #ChacrasDeCoria #UcoValley #Maipu #Lujan

 

Comment on Facebook

Gaaaaaah!

Casa glebinias! Best hotel we've ever stayed at!

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

‪Coming back to #Mendoza #Argentina next week. Doing this rather last-minute.

What are your recommendations? Any exciting new wineries to visit? Any cool new places to stay? We'd love to hear about them.

#wine
... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Paula Calvert...

Are you coming through EZE at any point of your trip...?

Make sure to contact Miguel Sanz for your logistics...

We LOVE this place! www.cavaswinelodge.com/

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Almost every cork has come apart trying to open this 2006 Flechas de Los Andes red blend. But what's inside has been more than worth the trouble (and the occasional coffee filter.) One of our favorites. ... See MoreSee Less

Almost every cork has come apart trying to open this 2006 Flechas de Los Andes red blend. But whats inside has been more than worth the trouble (and the occasional coffee filter.) One of our favorites.
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Alejandro Soler of Malambo Vinoteca talks about Bramare and the Marchiori Vineyard

A lot of high-end malbec lovers know about the famed old-vine Marchiori Vineyard, where Paul Hobbs and his Vina Cobos partners, Andrea Marchiori and Luis Barraud, source Bramare Marchiori, Cobos Malbec, and Cobos Volturno. What you may not know is that Hobbs’ partners in the Cobos project have a far less expensive wine from the same vineyard. Here one of my new friends, Alejandro Soler of Malambo Vinoteca Almacen Criollo in Buenos aires tells us the story of the Bramare wines, and an interesting less expensive alternative. #malbec #mendoza #video #wine #Argentina

 

Don’t miss this bottle at the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires

As you probably know by now, the wine bar at Palacio Duhau has one of the best selections of Argentinean wine in the country, including such icons as Cobos Malbec, in an absolutely enviable setting.

But for our money, one of the best experiences was this very early vintage blend from Fabre Montmayou. The 2001 Grand Vin contains a blend of malbec, cabernet and merlot planted in 1908. It’s aged in 100% French oak barrels, and 16 years in bottle has done beautiful things for this wine. It was so good that while sitting on the patio, we immediately went searching for more on Wine Searcher.

 

Alas – this vintage is impossible to get in the States – or as far as we can tell, anywhere in Argentina but the Park Hyatt!

So when you’re here – don’t miss the chance to enjoy a bottle.

Fabre Montmayou was founded in the early 90s by Hervé Joyau Fabre, one of a number of acclaimed French winemakers who early on saw the potential of Mendoza. You can read more about his wines here.

Five-star luxury meets uncommon comfort at The Vines of Mendoza

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The extraordinary, ever-changing views of the Andes at The Vines of Mendoza

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It was uncanny.

Walking alongside the Andes Mountains on the way to breakfast, every single employee – housekeeper, room service waiter, gardener – greeted me with:

“Hola, Stephen.”

They knew my first name. All of them.

How is that possible?  But it’s only one of the very human aspects of this highly-reviewed 5 star resort in Argentina’s Uco Valley, the Vines Resort and Spa.

Combine world-class accommodations with uncommon privacy and an unrivaled, ever-changing view of the Andes, in the heart of the country’s most sought-after winelands, and you have the makings of a relaxing visit like no other.
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To be sure, this place isn’t cheap. I had to blow my budget to stay two nights here. But it was oh sooo worth it. Unlike so many other luxury options, here you actually get what you pay for. Luxury isn’t pretense and pomp. There’s a relaxed, genuine, anything-is-possible vibe that allows you to leave your cares behind.

img_3365The Vines is the result of a unique partnership between an American political visionary and a talented Argentine. Before Michael Evans rocked the world of Argentine wine, he was COO of Rock The Vote, and worked on American political campaigns. Pablo Gimenez Rilli was a partner with his brothers in the family winery in Maipu. Add the talents of Santiago Archival, consulting winemaker, who is the owner of acclaimed Mendoza winery Achaval-Ferrer, and you have all the elements of a unique winemaking opportunity.

Together, they acquired a vast piece of land within the suddenly acclaimed Uco Valley, with some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world that are fast becoming the new frontier of Argentine winemaking. They envisioned a resort with vineyards and world-class luxury, that would give owners the chance to cultivate, create and market their own labels of wine. Families return, year after year, to help pick the grapes and blend the wine, while the professional staff at the Vines helps them with marketing and distribution.

The resulting feel is a cross between the most exotic destination you’ve ever seen, and the warmth and familiarity of a country club. Families who own vineyards here cross paths year after year, and develop lasting bonds. Meanwhile, tourists like myself become part of the family while visiting.

And how are the wines? Well, they’re… promising. I’m not going to say that I tasted the best bottles of my trip here, but the experimentation and enthusiasm made for a unique experience. And I am certain that as owners get to know their vineyards, and Achaval continues to refine their techniques, the resulting wines are only going to get better. After all, just a few fields away are some of the most exciting new winemakers in the world. Some vineyard owners hope for fortune and fame with their wine; some only share with a few friends. I hear that acclaimed chef Sean Brock has his own brand that he only serves at his beloved restaurant Husk, in Charleston and Nashville.

The villas are spacious, unabaimg_3301shedly contemporary – and stunning. One the nicest places I have ever stayed in a lifetime of world travel.

Every detail was thought of, from the fully-stocked refrigerator to the frequently-appearing snacks to the Nespresso machine. A custom-programmed iPad for every unit provided the ultimate in responsiveness, paired with privacy. I can easily envision this as the perfect place for a movie star to get away from the world without being bothered.img_3304

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To top it all off, there is the restaurant, Siete Fuegos, led by Argentina’s most acclaimed master of the fire, Frances Mallmann. I had nothing but the most perfect, inspired cuisine here – yes, there was meat, but there was so much more. My only regret: I at the resort on a quiet night when they weren’t having their big communal feast. There was a salad with grilled pears that I am still remembering now, one year later.mallmann

I may just have to drop back by next week for one more bite.

 

Watch our entire tasting at Viña Cobos.

One of the highlights of last season’s trip to Mendoza was our personal tasting at Paul Hobbs’ partnership in Argentina, Viña Cobos. Our host, Victoria Bravo, could not have been any more welcoming. She offered details about the entire line of wines, from Felino (approx $20 US) to Bramare ($40-80+ US) to Cobos Malbec and Cobos Volturno ($200+). We were able to taste the whole range of wines with the exception of, understandably, Cobos! We’re not going to win any awards for iPhone cinematography, but you’ll get an authentic feel for what it’s like taste the wines at one of Argentina’s greatest wineries.

This clip is long – 43 minutes! (Follow the captions to get to the sections you’re most interested in.) If you like what you see on this blog, be sure to like us on Facebook for frequent updates on Argentinian wine.