Sunday, February 17, 2019

Tasting Wines in Mendoza Region

Argentina is a basket case - we all know that. But Mendoza wine region is a beautiful oasis with world class wines. Let’s think about the leading wine regions in the world: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, Piedmont, Rhine Valley, Mosel, Ribera del Duero, Douro Valley, Napa, Sonoma, Barossa Valley (and a few others). What do they have in common? Outstanding wines, beautiful scenery and good gastronomy.

Now let us turn to Mendoza. I discovered some world class wines. The scenery in front of the snow capped Andes is breathtaking. Many wineries now have restaurants which offer better menus than what you get outside. In addition, the people are friendly, knowledgeable and keen to help and explain. The weather is very predictable. With respect to the terroir, the soils are interesting, the water is pure from the Andes, the diurnal temperature variation is large. As the saying goes, ‘what’s not to like?’

There have been interesting developments since my last visit in 2014. The rise of the Uco Valley is continuing, for good reason. There is a much improved understanding of the terroir, and soils in particular, with many more single vineyard wines. The two leading winemakers of the region have new projects with small wineries and have fashioned world-class Malbec and Cabernet Franc.

The last time when I visited Mendoza, I did not blog much, as I was writing for Gourmet Traveller Wine. This time, I will provide blog posts of my visits in the following days. They will cover El Enemigo, Achaval Ferrer, Norton, Matervini, Zuccardi, Andeluna and The Vines.

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