Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mendoza: The End!

Well, all good things must come to an end. On Day 6, for lunch, we paired a sidewalk cafe pizza with a $10 bottle of San Felipe, Malbec Roble, Maipu, 2005. Typical, generic malbec with a ripe fruity attack, medium bodied, good black fruit on the mid palate, fast fading finish. An "OK to good" wine by itself, but if you include value judgements....this, like the wines we were drinking all week, is astounding value.
For dinner, we ate at a trendy restaurant called LaSal. We started with the Enrique Foster, Malbec, Edicion Limitada, 2003. This bodega only makes malbec, and this is one of their best. They weren't kidding when they say limited edition - this was bottle number 0097 of a 1,000 case production. Rich black fruit on the nose, this is a full bodied A-1 wine. Bramble juicy palate and an endless finish (a poor finish is supposed to be a malbec flaw...these guys seem to have solved the problem). Wow.
Food wasn't too shabby either.
The second bottle we had to indulge in was a beauty called the Dolium, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, 2002. This spent 16 months in american oak. It has a dreamy nose that is about as aromatic as you can get with rich oak mixed with dark fruit wafting out of the glass. Soft but thick on the palate, full bodied, gorgeous vanilla oak - simply amazing. Wow.
Lunch on day 7 was at the best hotel in Mendoza - the Hyatt. The Angus beef was matched with the Chakana, Private Selection 2004, 60% Cabernet S., 20% Malbec and 20% Petit Verdot. With a 6000 bottle production run, I don't think we will see this in Canada. Bright berry nose, medium - full bodied, zesty berry palate with well integrated French oak - not overpowering at all. An elegant, long, chocolate finish.
Then, it's off to the airport for the long ride home. Check it out - they even have vines growing at the airport.
Lessons learned this week:
1. Argentina makes very good wine and it is sold for amazing prices locally. You can order the best bottle in most restaurants without even looking at the price.
2. Many of these wines you will never see north of the equator.
3. The food is excellent and also extremely good value.
4. These have to be some of the most scenic vineyards anywhere.

I think we'll be back.



At 6:46 p.m. , Anonymous Kathleen said...

Thanks for the wonderful trip report! I am studying Argentina now for my CSW test, these photos and tasting notes really helped me visualize the area.
Kathleen Lisson
Albany, NY
Wine and Stories from the Vineyard Blog


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