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4 weeks ago

MalbecsOnly

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1 month 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 month 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.”

2 months 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.

3 months 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

 

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

Thank you!!!

3 months 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.
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3 months 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.

3 months ago

MalbecsOnly

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

 

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French bread Argentinean sausage and chimichurri sauce! Heaven

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

Now that looks like a hot dog!

Choripan

3 months 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

3 months 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!Image attachment

3 months 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.

3 months 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

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

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

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.

3 months 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

3 months 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.

3 months 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

3 months 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

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

Gaaaaaah!

3 months 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
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Comment on Facebook

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

We LOVE this place! www.cavaswinelodge.com/

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

Paula Calvert...

4 months 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.

4 months ago

MalbecsOnly

DEAL ALERT: ridiculous opportunity to buy a 1.5 liter magnum of Catena Alta 2011 Malbec, rated 92 by RobertParker.com.

This is of course, twice the size of a normal 750 ml bottle.

The price is only $49.99, marked down from $100 at Highland Fine Wine in Atlanta, Georgia. Perhaps you've browsed through Nick Salpekar's lovely shop on N. Highland Avenue.

$49 is what you would expect to pay for a REGULAR bottle of this wine, so this is a very impressive deal.

If you buy a mixed case of 12 of Nick's on-sale wines, the price drops to $44.99, for a magnum of one of Argentina's most storied wines.

He had 40 bottles but my friends and I just grabbed 15 of them. Now it's your turn! Good luck.

campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102018840271&ca=b4e9633e-1788-41e4-9a43-b5396c18f76f
... See MoreSee Less

DEAL ALERT: ridiculous opportunity to buy a 1.5 liter magnum of Catena Alta 2011 Malbec, rated 92 by RobertParker.com. 

This is of course, twice the size of a normal 750 ml bottle.

The price is only $49.99, marked down from $100 at Highland Fine Wine in Atlanta, Georgia. Perhaps youve browsed through Nick Salpekars lovely shop on N. Highland Avenue.

$49 is what you would expect to pay for a REGULAR bottle of this wine, so this is a very impressive deal.

If you buy a mixed case of 12 of Nicks on-sale wines, the price drops to $44.99, for a magnum of one of Argentinas most storied wines. 

He had 40 bottles but my friends and I just grabbed 15 of them. Now its your turn! Good luck.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102018840271&ca=b4e9633e-1788-41e4-9a43-b5396c18f76f

5 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Price mistake? If you live in Connecticut, you should head to a Total Wine location and pick up this 2012 Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Bramare malbec at a very low price, way below normal. This doesn't ship to other states and it's priced way higher in other Total Wine stores. ... See MoreSee Less

Price mistake? If you live in Connecticut, you should head to a Total Wine location and pick up this 2012 Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Bramare malbec at a very low price, way below normal. This doesnt ship to other states and its priced way higher in other Total Wine stores.

5 months ago

MalbecsOnly

We've posted before about this terrific malbec that Catena originally created for the restaurant industry. Soft and velvety, it has an unusual sophistication for a $20 Argentinean red. Right now it's on sale at Super Wine Warehouse for only $16.99 a bottle, with FREE shipping for more than four bottles. This is one of the nicest values of the year - go get some. I did! www.superwinewarehouse.com/search/products/11310709 ... See MoreSee Less

Weve posted before about this terrific malbec that Catena originally created for the restaurant industry. Soft and velvety, it has an unusual sophistication for a $20 Argentinean red. Right now its on sale at Super Wine Warehouse for only $16.99 a bottle, with FREE shipping for more than four bottles. This is one of the nicest values of the year - go get some. I did! https://www.superwinewarehouse.com/search/products/11310709

5 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Check out the 36 wines that were chosen for this year's Premium Tasting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Mendoza, an increasingly prestigious wine event. All 36 of these bottles are worthy of your attention.

The prices are in Argentinean pesos - divide by 17 and you'll have an idea of the price in US dollars.
... See MoreSee Less

Check out the 36 wines that were chosen for this years Premium Tasting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Mendoza, an increasingly prestigious wine event. All 36 of these bottles are worthy of your attention. 

The prices are in Argentinean pesos - divide by 17 and youll have an idea of the price in US dollars.Image attachment

5 months ago

MalbecsOnly

This Cab Franc from Ernesto Catena (a cousin of the Catena Zapata family) was recommended by Rocco's Wine & Cheese shop in Boston and I will say it's one of the best reds I've had from his winery. Cabernet Franc is being used in some of Argentina's more sophisticated blends, but this is a nice use of it as a single varietal. ... See MoreSee Less

This Cab Franc from Ernesto Catena (a cousin of the Catena Zapata family) was recommended by Roccos Wine & Cheese shop in Boston and I will say its one of the best reds Ive had from his winery. Cabernet Franc is being used in some of Argentinas more sophisticated blends, but this is a nice use of it as a single varietal.

5 months ago

MalbecsOnly

So much fun speaking to the Riverchase Wine Club tonight. ... See MoreSee Less

So much fun speaking to the Riverchase Wine Club tonight.

6 months ago

MalbecsOnly

One of the best wines we had at the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires was an old vintage Grand Vin blend from Fabre Montmayou. Yet another example of French-Argentinian magic. So when we spied this humbler $15 bottle, we thought we'd give it a shot. It's very decent for the price: a big, deep, steak-friendly wine. (Sadly on their web site, the Grand Vin is no longer listed. Did they stop making it?) ... See MoreSee Less

One of the best wines we had at the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires was an old vintage Grand Vin blend from Fabre Montmayou. Yet another example of French-Argentinian magic. So when we spied this humbler $15 bottle, we thought wed give it a shot. Its very decent for the price: a big, deep, steak-friendly wine. (Sadly on their web site, the Grand Vin is no longer listed. Did they stop making it?)

9 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Made a pretty great discovery in Atlanta today, a wine retailer that we haven't been familiar with. The Juice Box has a well-curated selection of Argentinian wines, including the lowest price in America on this icon wine from Bodega Alta Vista. (Sorry, got the last bottle. Call and see if they'll have more.) But check them on Wine Searcher for other interesting values. They probably have more $100 icon wine options than anyone else in the city - Nicolas Catena Zapata, Catena Nicasia Vineyard Malbec, Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador, and more. They're located on Powers Ferry Road, just inside I-285. Looking forward to another visit! ... See MoreSee Less

Made a pretty great discovery in Atlanta today, a wine retailer that we havent been familiar with. The Juice Box has a well-curated selection of Argentinian wines, including the lowest price in America on this icon wine from Bodega Alta Vista. (Sorry, got the last bottle. Call and see if theyll have more.) But check them on Wine Searcher for other interesting values. They probably have more $100 icon wine options than anyone else in the city - Nicolas Catena Zapata, Catena Nicasia Vineyard Malbec, Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador, and more. Theyre located on Powers Ferry Road, just inside I-285. Looking forward to another visit!

 

Comment on Facebook

50 bucks! When we visited the vineyard they wouldn't let us taste this.

They also have 2009 Cheval des Andes for $59.

Wow, Exceptional very nice find. Retired wine guy N.Y.

Thank you.

+ View previous comments

9 months ago

MalbecsOnly

You know the guests are special when this bottle comes out. Have a great weekend! ... See MoreSee Less

You know the guests are special when this bottle comes out. Have a great weekend!

 

Comment on Facebook

One of my fav!

9 months ago

MalbecsOnly

On this page we tend to ooh and ahh about the single-vineyard Argentinian wines from Paul Hobbs, but this beautiful bottle is a reminder that the appellation-based Bramares are also pretty wonderful. And a good value in the $45 range. ... See MoreSee Less

On this page we tend to ooh and ahh about the single-vineyard Argentinian wines from Paul Hobbs, but this beautiful bottle is a reminder that the appellation-based Bramares are also pretty wonderful. And a good value in the $45 range.

9 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Okay, we're big believers in the Coravin now. Couldn't help but be worried about how this half bottle would be after two months but it's just fantastic. ... See MoreSee Less

Okay, were big believers in the Coravin now. Couldnt help but be worried about how this half bottle would be after two months but its just fantastic.

 

Comment on Facebook

Back vintage Quimera.... nice !!!

10 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Thanks to the Coravin, enjoying one glass of this vintage Bordeaux-inspired blend from Cana Wine Company in Nashville. It was fun to taste this far back. Cana has lots of interesting vintage choices from around the world. ... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to the Coravin, enjoying one glass of this vintage Bordeaux-inspired blend from Cana Wine Company in Nashville. It was fun to taste this far back. Cana has lots of interesting vintage choices from around the world.

11 months ago

MalbecsOnly

It's National Drink Wine Day!

How will you be celebrating? (Duh.)

#wine #malbec #Argentina #nationaldrinkwineday
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11 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Really interesting article about an icon wine from Trivento that we haven't had the pleasure of trying yet.

Have you?

www.thedailymeal.com/malbec-distinction-get-swept-away-trivento-eolo
... See MoreSee Less

Really interesting article about an icon wine from Trivento that we havent had the pleasure of trying yet. 

Have you?

http://www.thedailymeal.com/malbec-distinction-get-swept-away-trivento-eolo

11 months ago

MalbecsOnly

Thank goodness for the wineries and industry, the Mendoza airport is finally open again. Book a flight! ... See MoreSee Less

 

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Indeed. It must be said, that the Mendoza Provincial Government kept its promise and the airport closure did not last 1 day longer than they had planned - and all the work was completed as promised.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Our favorite issue of the year of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate is out, with Luis Gutierrez's incredible annual Argentina write up, this year entitled "The Sky's The Limit." In it he rates and writes up an whopping 1100 wines, noting an enormous number of new players, new techniques and new regions. Check it out. ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Plenty of good information, for sure. I cant say that I agree w many of the ratings, and it is also true that the overall credibility of the Robert Parker name and "organization" has been greatly diminished as of late. Parker doesnt rate and/or taste 99% of the wines that his "team member" reports on, and the entire issue of 110% transparency was proven to be misleading (to be diplomatic about the issue)... so overall, the Robert Parker rating is nothing like the "sacred cow" it once was.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Congratulations to Cheval des Andes 2011 for making the Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections for 2016 - The Best Wines To Lay Down Now. We're big fans of this joint venture between Argentina's Terrazas de Los Andes and France's Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint Emilion. Keep an eye out for highly-discounted bottles of this wine in the Atlanta area, as a local distributor just offered wine shops an exceptional price. If you can find this for under $60, buy as many bottles as you can.

Give your email address at the link to Wine Enthusiast, and you can get a free copy of the entire 100-wine list.

www.wineenthusiast.com/newsletter-signup/cellar-selections/?Ns=P_DateCreatedSort&AFID=FBADS&SrcCo...
... See MoreSee Less

Congratulations to Cheval des Andes 2011 for making the Wine Enthusiasts Top 100 Cellar Selections for 2016 - The Best Wines To Lay Down Now. Were big fans of this joint venture between Argentinas Terrazas de Los Andes and Frances Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint Emilion. Keep an eye out for highly-discounted bottles of this wine in the Atlanta area, as a local distributor just offered wine shops an exceptional price. If you can find this for under $60, buy as many bottles as you can.

Give your email address at the link to Wine Enthusiast, and you can get a free copy of the entire 100-wine list. 

http://www.wineenthusiast.com/newsletter-signup/cellar-selections/?Ns=P_DateCreatedSort&AFID=FBADS&SrcCode=BFBAD&cvosrc=display.social.facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=advertising&utm_campaign=2016CellarSelect&utm_content=CS-Cover-Evolve&emlsrc=FB16CLSLCTLA1

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

DEAL ALERT: Costco, Atlanta, GA has the 2010 Nicolas Catena Zapata 75% cabernet/25% malbec blend for $76.99. This is usually a $110-plus bottle, so this is a compelling value for the holiday season. This is the blend that put Argentina on the map as a world-class wine source, and the Robert Parker score for the 2010 vintage is 95. If you would never splurge on a 100 dollar bottle, here's your chance to waste $77 instead. : ) ... See MoreSee Less

DEAL ALERT: Costco, Atlanta, GA has the 2010 Nicolas Catena Zapata 75% cabernet/25% malbec blend for $76.99. This is usually a $110-plus bottle, so this is a compelling value for the holiday season. This is the blend that put Argentina on the map as a world-class wine source, and the Robert Parker score for the 2010 vintage is 95. If you would never splurge on a 100 dollar bottle, heres your chance to waste $77 instead.  : )

 

Comment on Facebook

BTW, this wine was found in the Brookhaven location.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Before Bodega Colomé became the Hess family's outpost in Argentina, the previous vineyard owner, Raul Davalos, prepared his wines in a more rugged, old fashioned way. To honor the previous owner and his methods, Colomé still makes Autentico Malbec. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel, with zero oak, allowing the grapes from one of the world's highest-altitude vineyards to show their true character. You can find this wine in the states from the low to mid $20s.

Tonight we're enjoying this gift from good friends, and hope you're enjoying the holiday season with yours.
... See MoreSee Less

Before Bodega Colomé became the Hess familys outpost in Argentina, the previous vineyard owner, Raul Davalos, prepared his wines in a more rugged, old fashioned way. To honor the previous owner and his methods, Colomé still makes Autentico Malbec. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel, with zero oak, allowing the grapes from one of the worlds highest-altitude vineyards to show their true character. You can find this wine in the states from the low to mid $20s. 

Tonight were enjoying this gift from good friends, and hope youre enjoying the holiday season with yours.

 

Comment on Facebook

Okay-bring back one to share...😉

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Pure joy. Paul Hobbs' partnership in Argentina produces four levels of red wine.

Filino, which you see in some groceries for about $20.

Bramare appellation series, based on grapes from around a region, about $40.

And then things get serious. There are four single-vineyard Bramare malbecs: Rebon, Zingaretti, Touza, and Marchiori - named for the families who still own these vineyards today.

All the single vineyards are amazing, way better than the regional stuff, but the Marchiori vineyard has a distinction: it's the same plot of land that produces Cobos Malbec, South America's most expensive wine, at $200-240.

Vina Cobos intends the Marchiori to be a ~$65 wine, but market demand has driven it to $80+. If you want one special bottle to keep around and see this for under $70, grab it.
... See MoreSee Less

Pure joy. Paul Hobbs partnership in Argentina produces four levels of red wine. 

Filino, which you see in some groceries for about $20. 

Bramare appellation series, based on grapes from around a region, about $40. 

And then things get serious. There are four single-vineyard Bramare malbecs: Rebon, Zingaretti, Touza, and Marchiori - named for the families who still own these vineyards today. 

All the single vineyards are amazing, way better than the regional stuff, but the Marchiori vineyard has a distinction: its the same plot of land that produces Cobos Malbec, South Americas most expensive wine, at $200-240. 

Vina Cobos intends the Marchiori to be a ~$65 wine, but market demand has driven it to $80+. If you want one special bottle to keep around and see this for under $70, grab it.

 

Comment on Facebook

On the issue of the most expensive South American Wine, Cobos has a lot of company in that department. Only to name a few that are more expensive than Cobos, you have Benegas Lynch FBL Barrica, Catena Zapata Estiba Reservada, Cobos Volturno, Grand Vineyards Parcela 26 Malbec, Bressia Ultima Hoja, etc. etc.

I remember this Malbec!

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

A celebration on Saturday night in Buenos Aires, reuniting old friends, so we had to order a special bottle. BODEGA VISTALBA makes three blends, Corte A, B, and C. All three are strong choices in their respective price ranges. Corte C can be found in the USA for as little as $14 a bottle. Corte B is a considerable step up in quality for around $23 to $28. Corte A, which is among the most elegant wines we've enjoyed, can be found for $55-70. It's a blend of 54% Malbec, 30% Bonarda and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love red blends, put this on your list for sure. ... See MoreSee Less

A celebration on Saturday night in Buenos Aires, reuniting old friends, so we had to order a special bottle. BODEGA VISTALBA makes three blends, Corte A, B, and C. All three are strong choices in their respective price ranges. Corte C can be found in the USA for as little as $14 a bottle. Corte B is a considerable step up in quality for around $23 to $28. Corte A, which is among the most elegant wines weve enjoyed, can be found for $55-70. Its a blend of 54% Malbec, 30% Bonarda and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love red blends, put this on your list for sure.

 

Comment on Facebook

You still in Town....???

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Outstanding red blend from 2001! In the nicest spot for lunch in B.A. You can get this wine in the States for about $40, but not this vintage. ... See MoreSee Less

Outstanding red blend from 2001! In the nicest spot for lunch in B.A. You can get this wine in the States for about $40, but not this vintage.

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

Did a brief but wonderful tasting last night at Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, which might have the best Argentinian wine list in the world. Their sommelier, Miguel, recognized me from my trip last year and was really welcoming. Considering it's inside the fanciest hotel in South America, it would be easy to be uncomfortable, but they make it relaxing. At the communal tasting table I got into a long, blurry conversation with two American brothers who grew up in Peru but have family in Argentina, who happily shared their bottle with me. Anyway, the really interesting wine from last night was this Syrah / Viogner blend from Trapiche Vineyards. A crazy delicious, lighter choice if you're having chicken or fish but don't want to default to a Pinot Noir. Iscay is only available down here as far as I can tell. ... See MoreSee Less

Did a brief but wonderful tasting last night at Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, which might have the best Argentinian wine list in the world. Their sommelier, Miguel, recognized me from my trip last year and was really welcoming. Considering its inside the fanciest hotel in South America, it would be easy to be uncomfortable, but they make it relaxing. At the communal tasting table I got into a long, blurry conversation with two American brothers who grew up in Peru but have family in Argentina, who happily shared their bottle with me. Anyway, the really interesting wine from last night was this Syrah / Viogner blend from Trapiche Vineyards. A crazy delicious, lighter choice if youre having chicken or fish but dont want to default to a Pinot Noir. Iscay is only available down here as far as I can tell.Image attachmentImage attachment

 

Comment on Facebook

Iscay is indeed a great series of labels. They are the creation of winemaker Daniel Pi

1 years ago

MalbecsOnly

We've told you this before but it bears repeating: you can almost always get an Argentinian wine in the US for the same price or even less as buying in Argentina. At best you'll negate the shipping costs. Even looking at the online merchants, it can be tough finding deals here. If you want to take wine home, it's smarter to buy brands you can't find in the states at all: Apartado, Antologia, Angelica Zapata. ... See MoreSee Less

 

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Other labels that have no US distribution include: Rutini's Collection Series, Rutini Apartado, DV Catena, and please dont forget the domestic portfolio labels of Escorihuela Gascon - especially the Pequenias Producciones series and for a high-end option, the DON Malbec and the Miguel Escorihuela Gascon Malbec Blend. Also, Escorihuela just introduced a new Organic Malbec that is quite unique. Finally, I can recommend Ricominciare, a very small boutique producer from the Uco Valley, their two Altisimo Labels (a Malbec and a Cabernet Franc) are outstanding, and their two Estate series blends also outperform similarly priced wines (one Malbec Cab Franc and one Malbec Tanat).

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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.

 

 

Angelica Zapata – the wine that started my love affair with a country.

 

It was 2008, and we had the good fortune to be shooting a television campaign in Argentina. I had visited once before as a tourist and had the time of my life.

But this time, we were hosted by a production company who was truly knowledgable about the country. And one member of our production team happened to be an experienced wine guy.

He took me to Winery in Recoleta. As I marveled at the different bottles in all price range, he walked over to an oak case and pulled out a bottle in an elegant, gray felt bag, tied with a red string:

“This is the one you want.”

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It was Angelica Zapata, from Catena. Distributed only in Argentina and virtually impossible to find in the U.S.

Angelica Zapata Malbec Alta represents grapes from some of the Catena family’s very best lots in their best vineyards, at altitudes ranging from 3000 to 4500 feet. Combining grapes from different lots at different altitudes contributes to the wine’s elegance and complexity. For the 2008 vintage, here were the sources:

Lot 18, “Angelica” Vineyard, 3018 ft elevation.
Lot 4, “La Pirámide” Vineyard, 3117 ft elevation.
Lot 2, “Altamira” Vineyard, 3642 ft elevation.
Lot 3, “Adrianna” Vineyard, 4757 ft elevation.
Lot 9, “Adrianna” Vineyard, 4757 ft elevation.

 

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If you want a point of comparison from the American Catena lineup, you might consider Catena Alta Malbec ($50) as the most comparable wine. I am told it has a more oak-forward California style profile, while the domestic Angelica Zapata has a bit more European balance.

My first taste of Angelica Zapata was the beginning of a love affair with Argentinean wine that will last the rest of my life. We opened a bottle last night to mark a family occasion, and this 12 year old bottle was as elegant and smooth as I had hoped.

If anyone you know is headed southward to Argentina soon, be extra nice – and maybe they’ll bring you back a bottle of this.

Interview: Miguel Sanz, Driving Mendoza Wine Tours

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All you have to do is spend a few minutes on the Argentina forums of FlyerTalk or TripAdvisor before you see all the kudos for Miguel Sanz, a driver and personal tour guide for visitors to Mendoza. To call Miguel a “driver” hardly does his role justice. He’s more like a concierge or chaperone. He can make appointments with the wineries, arrange a memorable lunch, and make just about anything happen. Since practically everyone’s heard about Miguel, we thought it would be interesting for people to get to know him better.

 

Where is your hometown? Tell me about it.
I live about 15′ from downtown in a great city called La Heras. My house is in a calm residential area, where the kids are still playing outside without a problem.

 

How long have you lived in Mendoza?
I was born in Mendoza City and grew up there until I was 22 years old; then I moved to Canada for a period of 7 years. Than I came back to Mendoza for the holidays and decided to stay.

 

You have quite the fan base on TripAdvisor. Why do you think you’ve become so popular with Americans?
I guess because I understand the needs of the visitors and probably because I had great training working in the Park Hyatt and Cavas Wine Lodge hotel the first three years as a driver.

 

You worked in the wine business before you began Driving Mendoza, correct? Where did you work, and what did you do?
I have a degree in Export Marketing and Logistics and I did work in the wine industry. I worked for Familia Zuccardi as a Logistics Manager and also for Wines of Argentina too.

 

How did you get started driving visitors?
In February 2007 I had a full month off. My brother was a driver of a tourist agency and the owner needed to replace a couple drivers so they offered me to work for him 15 days. In those 15 days I drove many people and three of them wrote the manager of Park Hyatt a letter about my great service and knowledge, so the manager call my brother’s boss and asked him to do what ever it took to keep me in the hotel. That’s how I started.

 

How many days is a good visit to Mendoza, that gives people enough time to get to know the wineries and the region?
Well, there are three different regions to visit in Mendoza, so I would say at least three days.

 

Some people think renting their own car is a good idea. What do you think of that?
First of all, the rentals agencies don’t have automatic transmissions. So if you don’t know how to drive manual transmission, that is the first reason. We have zero tolerance in drinking and driving. And besides that, there are no good signs. GPS can help a little, but if the one you get isn’t updated to the very latest version, you’re still getting lost.

 

What are some of the less-discovered wineries that you think visitors should take more time get to know?
Well if I tell you all my secrets, my competitors will start to copy me.
Okay, I’ll give you some: Altocedro, D’Angeles 1928, Sin Fin.

 

What if one of the member of a group is not a wine drinker? What other places and activities in the region do you enjoy taking visitors to?
There’s many options, mountain trips all the way to the Aconcagua Park, outdoor activities like horseback riding, rafting, zip lining, trekking, 4-wheel drive tours on a road through the mountains, shopping tours. Night tours, etc. You ask and I provide.

 

What is the biggest mistake foreign tourists make when traveling to Mendoza?
Try to arrange the winery appointment by themselves. It’s not impossible, but sometimes they make appointments each hour to try to get most of their day and they forget that some wineries are 30km apart and hidden.

 

What’s your favorite story of something that has happened when you were leading a tour?
I was in La Azul restaurant and this guy told me that he was going to propose to his girlfriend. He did it with the surprise that I told everybody in the restaurant and we filmed all the proposal.

 

What are some differences to consider when you are choosing a driver or tour company in Argentina?
First, my tour is totally private and if you decide to come back after lunch to the hotel you can do it. You can choose your wineries, or at least share the names of the wineries that you like to visit. Sometimes it isn’t possible because availability from them, but normally, we work it out. On a group tour you have fixed tours and you don’t know what kind of people you will sharing the tour with.

 

How has the wine industry in Mendoza changed since you began giving tours?
A lot, because many wineries are open for tourists, so now we have more than 150 wineries to visit.

 

What do you see as the biggest change that will come in the next five years?
Well Argentina is just beginning. New investors will come and now with the new government that just started, I think this type of service will grow.

 

You can learn more about Miguel on Trip Advisor or request his services at DrivingMendozaWineTours.com. You can also email Miguel directly here.

 

Amalaya Gran Corte 2012

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4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Amalaya Gran Corte 2012

Most of the time in this space we talk about wines from Mendoza, but some of the most exciting wines in Argentina are being grown in other areas.

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The desert region of Salta, in the The Calchaqui Valley, is home to several properties from the well known Hess Estate, which has properties in California and around the world.
In Argentina both their wineries, Colomé and Amalaya, are located in Salta.
You’ve seen us talk about Colomé Estate before, and it remains one of our very favorite malbecs in the $25 range. This region is home to some of the highest vineyards, anywhere in the world. Grown at more than 5,200 feet, Amalaya is a celebration of this desert micro-climate. It’s less expensive than Colomé Estate from the same owners, but a delicious celebration of the same region.
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Amalaya Red Blend
Amalaya is widely distributed in the U.S. – in fact, it’s one of the most common mid-priced wines in better liquor stores. More than likely, you’ve seen their red blend in the blue bottle for around $15, and they also make a very good for the price Torrontés.
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Amalaya Torrontés
On this rare occasion we got to enjoy a different bottle we got as a gift – a wine that is typically available only available in South America, the Amalaya Gran Corte. (You can find it at a few select U.S. merchants on Wine-Searcher.) The Amalaya Gran Corte is a red blend of Malbec, Tannat and Cabernet Franc, grown at about 5,400 feet.
On first opening, I got just a hint of a barnyard scent, but after five minutes this wine began to come alive. An aerator or decanter would be a nice idea for this one. If I could get it at my local store, it would definitely be in my regular rotation. There’s a nice combination of fruit, spice, and minerality – it’s not an oak bomb like some lower-priced Argentine reds… there’s an elegance and subtlety going on here that is to be appreciated, especially in the $20 range.
You know, I was originally going to give this wine 3.5 stars – but then I tasted it on the second night. How often can you say a bottle of wine tastes better on the second night than the first night you opened it? Tonight, it’s 4 stars.

Buyer’s Tip: Weekend mixed case sale at Ansley Park Kroger, Atlanta, GA

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One of the nice benefits of the grocery wars in the Southeastern U.S.: a few stores are using huge, impressive selections of great wine as a point of differentiation.

One great example is the Ansley Park Kroger in Atlanta, Georgia, which is having a 10% off mixed-cases sale this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Ansley Kroger arguably offers the most impressive selection of $20-40 bottles in the city, as well as some great bargain buys, so this is a great opportunity to try some things – assemble a case and enjoy a mix of malbecs you haven’t tried in different price ranges.

If you live in Georgia, this is a sale I wouldn’t miss.