Showing posts with label Torrontes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Torrontes. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The All Whites. Including a Mendoza Double.

Valle Aldino Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Central Valley (Chile), 13%, €12.70 Karwig Wine

Have you been reading The 24 Hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson? At €6.80 (Waterstones), it is well worth getting. 

In a section called Be Adventurous, she lists 15 pairs, one wine The Obvious Choice, the other tagged The Clever Alternative.  In Sauvignon Blanc, the obvious is Marlborough while the alternative is Chile.

The alternative, she says, can “be sometimes cheaper, often more interesting”. This Valle Aldino is certainly cheaper and, while not more interesting than the better Marlboroughs, is a good alternative at a decent price.

Colour is a light straw with tints of green. Fresh and grassy aromas, white fruits there too. Gooseberries and citrus flavours, with strong melon-y notes too, on the zesty palate, plus a decent finish. Recommended.

Mendoza’s Domaine Bousquet
A Blend Double

In 1990, the Bousquet family from Carcassonne in Southern France began to explore wine-making possibilities in Argentina. In 1997, they settled in Tupungato (Mendoza) in one of the highest vineyards in the world.

It is no less than 1,200 meters above sea level. There is a large difference between day and night temperatures. This variation (the thermal amplitude) helps create fully ripened grapes with good acidity. The heat of the day promotes the ripening, the chill of the night preserves acidity. Grapes are hand-picked and the vineyard is certified organic.

Domaine Bousquet Chardonnay - Pinot Gris Reserva 2010 (Tupungato, Mendoza, ARG), 14%, €18.80 Mary Pawle Wines
Colour is a light gold, clean and bright and a ring of bubbles stay around the rim for a while. It is strongly aromatic, some exotic white fruit and floral notes too. Concentrated white fruit flavours announce its arrival on the palate and the acidity ensures a happy balance. It is an elegant style with a dry and pleasing finish. Highly Recommended.

The mix is 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Gris. And the Reserve apparently means that the grapes have been picked from the best plots.

Domaine Bousquet Cameleon  Selection Torrontes - Chardonnay 2014 (Tupungato, Mendoza, ARG), 14%, O’Donovan’s Off Licence.

The Cameleon, one of their brands, symbolises the family story of Jean Bousquet, the leaving of France and adapting to the new life in Argentina. Adapted quite well going by this bottle, also Highly Recommended.

The blend here is fifty fifty. Aging is in stainless steel plus four months in bottle. Ideal, they say for seafood, fish dishes and cheeses. I say fine on its own and worth a try too with white meat and Asian dishes.

Colour is a light gold, clean and bright, much like the first bottle above. Aromas are of white fruits, floral notes too. On the palate there are fresh white fruit flavors, some sweet spice, an oily mouthfeel, more body here, that expected acidity and a long, dry and very pleasing finish.

This is what the family wanted from the blend and from their soil. “With its subtle attunement, this Chameleon is a conspicuous presence in a landscape of indistinguishable wine.” Don't know what the neighbours made of that statement!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Argentina Scores with Reds. And Whites.

Argentina Scores with Reds. And Whites.
Mascota Malbec And Beef Wellington Hit The Spot At Cornstore Wine Event
Matias, introduced by Mags O'Connor (Cornstore)
The Cornstore is renowned for its aged steak, Argentina’s Mascota Vineyards for their Malbec. Put the two together and you are on a winner. That happened in Cork’s Cornstore last Monday night and it was the highlight of a lovely wine evening with El Esteco’s Matias Ferraro our knowledgeable and humorous host.

Matias took us through a series of excellent wines from two vineyards, the whites from Amaru High, the reds from Mascota, all imported by Cork company Classic Drinks who also helped the evening run smoothly.

As we started off with some gorgeous tapas from the Cornstore kitchen, we were introduced to the Amaru High Torrontes 2013. The vineyard, believe it or not, is situated at 1700 metres and higher. “The height and coolness leads to a thicker skin, more concentration. Light yellow, it is a little spicy but with good balance,” said Matias.

The Torrontes is regarded as Argentina’s national grape and I'm surprised it is not better known here. Perhaps with Matias and Classic Drinks promoting it, we’ll see more of this gorgeous wine with its beautiful fresh flavours and balancing acidity. If Albarino can make the breakthrough here, Torrontes must have as good a chance.
Now we dropped down to the Finca La Mascota, a vineyard near Mendoza, the town where Scotland beat Holland in the 1978 World Cup. Matias may have been down following the recent World Cup final loss to Germany but this Buenos Aires resident has Boca Juniors to cheer on in the weeks ahead.

He cheered us all up on Monday when he introduced the Opi Cabernet Sauvignon. Opi Sadler is the winemaker; delays in his journey meant he didn't make the Cornstore but Matias went solo and was in top form. As was this excellent wine, full bodied and full too of dark fruit with a long finish. Superb with some of the tapas, particularly the Beef Carpaccio.

And then it was on to the Beef Wellington, with twice cooked Roast Potatoes and Caramelised Root Vegetables and a Bordelaise Sauce. What a dish! What a wine! The La Mascota Malbec 2012 is a gem, beautiful aromas, vibrantly fruity, smooth and easy drinking and with a long lazy finish. It takes two to tango and this beef and this wine were the perfect pair.

Beef Welllington.
The Menu
Amaru High Vineyards Torrontes Rosé 2014

Parma Ham and Toonsbridge Mozzarella Roulade.
Beef Carpaccio en Croute with Truffle Oil & Parmesan Cheese.
Smoked Salmon Rillette with pickled Cucumber.
Wild Mushroom Risotto beignets with Celeriac Purée.

Amara High Vineyards Torrontes 2013.
Opi Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.


Classic Beef Wellington, with twice cooked Roast Potatoes and Caramelised Root Vegetables and a Bordelaise Sauce.

La Mascota Malbec 2012.


Poached Rhubarb and Strawberry in Rose Jelly with Blood Orange Sorbet.

Santa Ana Sparkling Wine Malbec Rosé.

Yours Truly and Matias.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week

Torrontes is the white grape of Argentina
and this Finca La Linda is a terrific example
by the Luigi Bosca company.
Amazingly, the grapes are grown at 1700 metres.
Available from O'Donovan Off Licences