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 weeks 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.Image attachment

 

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.

2 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!

3 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

3 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.

3 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

3 months ago

MalbecsOnly

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

4 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 ZapataImage attachment

4 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

 

Comment on Facebook

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

4 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

4 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

4 months 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....Image attachment

 

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 ...

5 months 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 !!!

5 months 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.

5 months 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.

7 months ago

MalbecsOnly

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7 months 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.

How was it?

7 months 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.”

8 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.

9 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

 

Comment on Facebook

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

Thank you!!!

9 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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9 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.

9 months ago

MalbecsOnly

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

 

Comment on Facebook

French bread Argentinean sausage and chimichurri sauce! Heaven

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

Choripan

9 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

9 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

9 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.

9 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.

9 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

9 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.

9 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

9 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!

9 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...

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

Paula Calvert...

9 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.

10 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

11 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.

11 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

11 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

11 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.

11 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.

1 years 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?)
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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.