Monday, June 18, 2007

Mendoza, Day Four

Yup, it really is this pretty in the vineyards down there. Day 4 in Mendoza I think I will always remember as the "Bonarda Brunch". We visited Finca Los Amigos and were treated to a magnificent day in the winter sunshine (20 degrees C) by the owner, the most gracious Swiss gentleman Peter Meuli. With no food in the belly (we slept in and missed breakfast) Peter opened a bottle of his Finca Los Amigos, Bonarda, 2006 which clocked in at a whopping 14.9% alchohol for lunch. This was a young, chewy, rich, fruity wine from 65 year old vines. Medium tannins, loads of berries and spice. Very impressive for such a young wine. And the wine kept coming!....Peter's dog, Lara, probably had the best idea by chomping on vineyard dog food - almost raisined supersweet grapes left over from the last harvest!

Peter then decided to treat us to his 2005 Bonarda which he had elaborated with the press you can see on the left...his eonologist was his vineyard foreman, Felix! This just showed me what the potential is in these vineyards -

this "home-made", old vine bonarda was dense black in the glass, with an incredible nose of blackberries. Intense blackcurrent jam with slighly rough tannins (it was aged in an old oak barrel) greeted the palate, with a noticebly tart finish. After one hour the nose opened up even more with hints of bacon. Wow. The best "home-made" wine I have ever tasted. Too bad the corks Felix used to seal these bottles will not stand up to aging...who knows how good this wine could have become.

Next up, back at Club Tapiz, they have a wine tasting every night. Because there were only two of us staying at the hotel, they only opened two bottles of wine for us. The Zolo, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006 delivered zesty tropical fruits, a nice break from all the heavy wines we had been imbibing. It was "OK". The Tapiz, Malbec, 2004 was distinctly different from the reserva malbec that we had had the night before. Medium bodied, blackcurrant fruit, soft, an "OK" wine.
Now, on to bigger things for dinner. And what a dinner we had! Walking into an Asada, Joel asked the waiter to bring the restaurant speciality. Well here it is - and delicious it was. And we ate the whole damn thing!!. To match it, we went into the restaurant cellar and chose a suitable foil (which happened to be the most expensive wine in there) - the Sophenia, Synthesis, "The Blend", (merlot, malbec, cab. s.) 2004 is from 4000 foot vineyards and boasts Michel Rolland as it's winemaker. Black as night, it is a brooding full bodied monster of a wine. We were drinking it way too young - this wine wants to go on and on but it's too closed right now. A good wine, going on to being a "wow".

(and thank you, Peter and Lara!)


At 1:07 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Crush

very flattering your comments about our Bonarda ! Thank YOU!
You know you are always welcome
on "Finca Los Amigos" - and can
have a Bonarda Breakfast, a Bonarda Lunch and a Bonarda Dinner anytime!!
Hope to see you soon again in Mendoza!!


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