The architecture is impossible to ignore. And so is the setting.
4 days ago
Happy #MalbecWorldDay to wine lovers worldwide!
For the past ten years, I've loved exploring and learning about Argentine wine, and I'm just getting started! Who would have thought that a random vacation to Buenos Aires would turn into 10 trips to Argentina, leading my first group trip to Mendoza, and interviews with some of the country's top winemakers? Man, it's been fun.
Thanks to Catena Zapata, Bodega Cuvelier Los Andes, Trapiche Argentina, Flechas de los Andes, Bodega Lagarde, Viña Cobos, Achaval-Ferrer, Bodega Familia Zuccardi, BODEGA VISTALBA, SuperUco, Wines of Argentina, Clos de los Siete and everyone else for their education and genuine hospitality. ... See MoreSee Less
Happy Malbec Day!!
1 week ago
Want to see what we brought back from the most recent trip? As I’ve said before, you can often get Argentinian wines at similar prices in the states. For that reason I focus on Argentina-only bottles, limited editions, and exceptional values I happen to come across. ... See MoreSee Less
2 weeks ago
If you want to understand Argentine wine and what makes it special, this new video from GuildSomm and Wines of Argentina is a must-watch. It interviews many of our heroes in the business. www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=i1Io5Ra_gBwThe Wines of Argentina by GuildSomm. ... See MoreSee Less
The daily chef special at Restaurant UCO in Buenos Aires. Organic eggs, zucchini, eggplant, and sun dried tomato. Still the best breakfast I have had in Argentina. I would show you the impossibly perfect medialuna and house-made granola and organic yogurt, but I already destroyed them. ... See MoreSee Less
Welcome back to Buenos Aires !!
Best breakfast anywhere.
Attack Of The Killer Cerveza
One of the biggest challenges facing Argentine winemakers in the domestic market is the rise of craft beer, which is being embraced by the younger generation.
Historically, Argentina had one of the largest per-capita wine consumptions in the world, but that is rapidly changing. Craft brewers are opening around the country by the dozens.
In my conversations with winemakers like Daniel Pi of Trapiche and Adrián Manchó of Cuvelier Los Andes, I hear a concern that the industry may have made enjoying wine too complicated.
They wonder if newcomers to wine feel like they're "getting it wrong" if they don't taste the notes of plum and leather and the scent of black fruit that the reviews described.
It's all gotten just a bit precious.
So I found both of them encouraging an approach that is a little bit more playful and less serious.
As Adrián Manchó put it, "there are the wines you Think, and there are the wines you just Drink."
And there is a place for each.
We'll drink to that. ... See MoreSee Less
See, it’s not all steak here! Lightly grilled peaches, bresaola, zucchini, arugula and goat cheese. #eatyourgreens ... See MoreSee Less
That’s just before the steak!
🍽 delish 🍷
MalbecsOnly is at La Morada de los Andes.
3 weeks ago
La Morada is still one of my favorite places to stay in the Uco Valley. Comfortable accommodations, homemade breakfast, and enviable views of the Andes make for the start of a perfect day in wine country. ... See MoreSee Less
Absolutely epic visit with the winemaking team at Cuvelier Los Andes. One of my favorite spots on earth. If anyone in South America is making better quality for the price, I haven’t tasted it. ... See MoreSee Less
MalbecsOnly added 2 new photos from March 28.
3 weeks ago
When the top winemaker at one of the world’s largest wineries agrees to spend two hours with you, it’s a helluva start to your Mendoza trip. My interview with Daniel Pi of Bodega Trapiche and Tres14 and his understudy, Sergio Casè, coming soon. Sneak preview: Bottles were uncorked back to 1978! ... See MoreSee Less
🍷 much respect for his wine,it’s a gracious industry.
If you visit Duhau restaurant at Buenos Aires’ Park Hyatt, ask and the sommelier will likely have a few bottles that are off the list. Never had a Malbec this many years old, but it’s surprisingly complex and wonderful. A nice acidity and brightness you wouldn’t expect from the earlier era. ... See MoreSee Less
Did it start off as a fruit bomb?
1 month ago
Returning to Mendoza in one week! What wineries should we visit? ... See MoreSee Less
First bottle in Napa. (This one’s from Sonoma, actually.) #malbecsonlyvisitsNapa #howtheotherhemispherelives ... See MoreSee Less
Very, very good. Elegant and substantial, clearly made with great finesse. Favorite wine of one of my hosts. Robert Parker himself reviewed this (95 points) and says, “The 2014 Mekarra Proprietary Red is a Cheval Blanc-like blend of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Franc from his vineyard in Knights Valley. It is a sexy, open-knit, expansive and savory style of wine, with loads of Christmas fruitcake, licorice, black cherry and blackcurrant jam, a touch of asphalt, and a long, full-bodied, voluptuously textured finish. It is very much in keeping with the easygoing but alluring and sexy style of the 2014s in Northern California. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.”
Seeing How The Other Hemisphere Lives
As you know, this blog is all about the celebration of Argentine wine - and it always will be. But I've been invited to visit friends in Napa Valley next week.
I think it will be fascinating after four trips to Mendoza, to compare and contrast what the California wine community and tasting experience is like.
I already have some built-in assumptions about what I'll find - too expensive, too jammy - so it will be very interesting to see what reality is.
Unfortunately, the weather will be quite cold and rainy, but there should be ample red wine to warm things up! Look for frequent posts on Facebook from the trip. ... See MoreSee Less
Look forward to reading about your CA Experience.... Cheers from the Realm of Malbec !!!
So, how was your evening?
#PaulHobbs #Mendoza #WorldClass #Malbec ... See MoreSee Less
Spectacular! We were with you!!
6 months ago
7 months ago
Paul Hobbs’ Bramare line includes these regional versions, and then a more expensive, single-vineyard line. Both are excellent for their price point. This bottle retails for around $40 USD. ... See MoreSee Less
8 months ago
The Argentina peso is nearing 37 to $1 USD. Mind-boggling. ... See MoreSee Less
Time to lock in Peso prices at this favorable rate.....
10 months ago
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
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.
Looks great. Stephen, how do you like your Coravin? I’ve been looking at them but have yet to decide which model.
11 months ago
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
Thank you. That made my day!
Happy #MalbecWorldDay, from the page that celebrates it every day! MalbecsOnly.com ... See MoreSee Less
To say that our first group trip was amazing would be an understatement. ... See MoreSee Less
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
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
The Fierro is indeed a Great Hotel. Ed and his team do an amazing job !!!
What a day crossing the Andes from Chile to Mendoza. Ever-changing vistas and a first rate introduction to Argentine cuisine. Something we’ll always remember. #MalbecsOnly2018 ... See MoreSee Less
What an enormous honor for Catena Zapata! The world’s most-awarded winery, as chosen by Vivino users.
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
Planning dinner for our first group trip to Argentina next week. Research, research.... ... See MoreSee Less
Beautiful stain down the front of the Gran Malbec complements of me. Got most of the wine in the glass ...
Two big Malbecs from Mendoza.... not sure what sort of availability they have in the US...?
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
Like our page to see photos from our trip! Siga nuestra página para ver fotos de nuestro viaje!
Congratulations Steve !!!
This is wonderful Stephen!
First warm day of the year! Celebrating. ... See MoreSee Less
The aromas just burst out of the glass with this elegant blend.
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
In honor of the Southern snowstorm, the Coravin is going to open one of my oldest bottles. ... See MoreSee Less
It's really good now.
How was it?
I bought this on your reco. Haven’t had it yet though.
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
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
MalbecsOnly is at La Morada de los Andes.
1 years ago
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
That is beautiful! So glad you found your way. Enjoy!
Wherever I go, wine creates friends.
And this visit to Mendoza was no exception. Which leads to my visit to SuperUco.
This particular visit to Mendoza wasn't particularly well-planned. I just sort of, showed up.
Despite my lack of planning, my driver from La Morada de los Andes was able to make things happen: "We have a tasting at SuperUco. But we have to be there in TEN MINUTES!"
We scrambled into the truck and I made it over to the last seat at a tasting that was well underway.
It didn't take two minutes for the coincidences to kick in. I was surrounded by a table of Americans. Not just Americans, but fellow Atlantans. We discovered common friends, common interests, and the conversation flowed as freely as the wine that was being generously poured by the Michelini family.
The renegade Michelini brothers are known for pushing the boundaries of Argentine wine, as evidenced by their labels Zorzal and Passionate Wines. They were the first in the region to experiment with egg-shaped concrete tanks, when everyone else was still dumping everything into oak barrels.
But it's SuperUco, a surreal, modernist building that houses a completely biodynamic bodega near Tunuyán, that is their true realization of a dream: an uncompromising taste of the terroir of the Uco Valley.
Chickens and other farm animals roam freely among the grapes, leaving their "presents" to fertilize their two hectares of soil.
Here the brothers Michelini are making wines from high-altitude vineyards in Gualtallary, Los Chacayes, and Altamira, ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 feet. The alluvial and colluvial soils are the result of erosion from the pre-Andes of millions of years ago.
As the English translation of their website puts it "the roots grow embraced to the stones, from which they take the nutrients and their unique character."
Enough with the geology lesson. How do the wines taste? Freaking great.
In fermentation here, the wines here never touch stainless steel. They are in materials like concrete, and wood. Whenever there is a natural option, the Michelinis opt for it. They use indigenous yeasts. They never filter the wine. They never use sulfates, or overextract.
It's an uncompromising approach that results in wines with a personality all their own. They've even trained every vine into a heart shape, the vineyard's personal signature.
In the States, you can find wines ranging from Calcareo Rio de Los Chacayes at around $35 to Calcareo Granito Malbec for about $75. Only in Argentina can you purchase their icon wines, the top of the line Genitori Gualta and Genitori Mio ($175).
One can always debate how much a top wine should cost, but the answer of course is to try them for yourself, and decide just how much a taste of freedom is worth. ... See MoreSee Less