Tasting No. 176 – April 25, 2016 – Wines from Argentina


Club del Vino


Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


1. Presenters and Participants

Wines presenters: Alvaro Lopez, Italo Mirkow

Participants: Members: Mario Aguilar, Marcello Averburg,  Jorge Claro, Ruth Connolly, Clara Estrada, Jaime Estupiñán, Jorge Garcia-Garcia, Peter Lapera, Alvaro Lopez, Orlando Mason, Ítalo Mirkow, Jorge Requena, Alfonso Sanchez, Jairo Sanchez, Raul Sanginetti, Pedro Turina, German Zincke.

Guests:  José Brakarz, Alvaro Pachón, John Redwood, Lucia Redwood, Xavi Vila

Type of Tasting: Open

2. The Wines 

  1. 2012 Finca Sophenia Reserva, Viognier, Tupangato _ Mendoza
  2. 2012 Amancaya Gran Reserva. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Domains Baron de Rothschild Lafite
  3. 2013 Areo Patagonia Argentina, Malbec
  4. 2013 Fabre Montmayou, Reserva, Malbec

3. The Menu:

  1. Calamari in white wine
  2. Mushroom Ravioli in light tomato sauce
  3. Mixed salad (arugula, carrot, and fennel with olive oil
  4. Pork loin, prunes brown sauce
  5. Desert/coffee

4. Information on the Wines

(The information below has been compiled from varios internet sources) .

2012 Sophenia Reserva, Viognier, Tupangato, Mendoza

SopheniaThe Wine. Aromas of briny citrus and resiny oak don’t blend together well. In the mouth, this oaky Viognier is grabby and resiny, with bitter green-fruit flavors. The finish is pithy with hard green notes.

The Winery . The land selected to plant in 1997, is located at the slopes of the Andes mountains in the famous district of Tupungato, Mendoza, where the best quality wines are made. At an elevation of 1200 meters (4000 feet) the terroir benefits from the cooler climate, abundant sun, and sharp contrast between day and night temperature, delivering the highest quality from Argentina.

Finca SOPHENIA’ s vineyards were planted over 130 hectares of the best virgin soil of this part of the world. This is a sandy and rocky soil with excellent natural drainage. The vineyards were implanted with selected French clones, which were grafted onto an American rootstocks, and of the following varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  The irrigation water comes from the Andes’ thaw. The system that distributes it was structured to obtain small berries and a low production per hectare. In this way, the results are wines of great complexity, high fruit concentration and capable to age well.

Read More about Finca Sophenia wines here: http://www.sophenia.com.ar/eng/index.php

Experts Rating: NA

CV Members Rating: 87

Price: $20

2012 Amancaya Gran Reserva. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Domains Baron de Rothschild Lafite 

bodegas-caro-amancayaThe Wine:  Amancaya, like its older brother CARO ( the first blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon produced under the partnership between the Catena Family and the Baron of Rothschild), presents a harmonious balance between the Argentine and Bordeaux styles. The wine is more fruity due to the higher percentage of Malbec and shorter ageing. The word AMANCAYA is the native Indian name of a flower found at high altitudes in the Andes in the Mendoza area. – 60% to 70% Malbec, 30% to 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Winery. The idea of forming a partnership between Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family was born in 1999. Initial enthusiasm quickly became a concrete plan to produce a single wine that would combine French and Argentine cultures and the two signature grapes of each producer, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Catena family has produced wine for three generations. Consequently, it was able to draw on its vast knowledge of the high altitude terroirs of the Mendoza region as well as its passion for Malbec to find the best vineyards. DBR (Lafite) contributed its centuries-old skills in growing, vinifying and ageing great Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as its know-how in blending different grape varieties to produce one wine that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Exchanges and selection work began in 1999 to produce CARO’s first vintage in 2000. The success of the early vintages resulted in the creation of another wine in 2003: AMANCAYA which, like its older brother, is based on a harmonious balance between Argentinian identity and Bordeaux style. Bodegas CARO then decided to celebrate the grape variety for which Argentina’s vineyards are famous by selecting a pure Malbec, ARUMA, starting with the 2010 vintage.

The Bodegas CARO winery, in the heart of Mendoza, has been producing the wines since the 2003 vintage and serves as the anchor of the CARO project. The renovation of the historic building and gardens in order to expand the winery and open the Bodega to the outside brings the final touch to the original project.

See more at: http://www.lafite.com/en/the-domaines/bodegas-caro/the-wines/amancaya/#sthash.RM61BLTN.dpuf

See more about Bodegas Caro here: http://www.lafite.com/en/the-domaines/bodegas-caro/

Experts Rating: WE 90Pts; RP 91 Pts.

CV Members Rating: 89 Pts.

Price: $22

2013 Areo Patagonia Argentina, Malbec 

areo malbec

The Wine:  Winemaker’s Notes “The appearance is young and elegant with hues of red. The palate offers a diversity of fresh fruits and a tinge of vanilla. The finish is long and velvety with a remarkable balance.”

Nose: big but nuanced fruit begins at first sniff, with grapes, raisins, blackberries and a bramble edge roiling out of the glass. Taste: Big, round, voluptuous, with all the fruit  promised by its bouquet spiked with a bit of clove and some nice dark chocolate notes around the edges. It is nicely structured and its finish is full and lingering, hints of black pepper and black tea chiming in right at the very end.

The Winery: Familia Grittini Winery started at the famous and mystic Argentinian Patagonia. Featuring 54 hectares devoted to production, this exclusive winery is located in the Province of Neuquén, in the small District of San Patricio del Chañar. In this place, there is a micro climate with frequent and intense wind, scarce rainfall and humidity. All this is essential for the production of excellent wine. Its favorable natural conditions plus the extreme care and technological innovations permit the storage of 810,000 liters of wine of international quality.

Experts Rating:  NA

CV Members Rating: 90 Pts.

Price: $24

2013 Fabre Montmayou, Malbec



The Wine: Dark red with violet shiny tones. Poweful on the nose with floral aromas of violets, spices, and dark cherries. This wine is very elegant, fruit driven with a good structure with smooth ripe tannins and a long finish. Best served with all kind of grilled meat, game and cheeses.

The Winery:  The winery was built in Vistalba – Lujan de Cuyo, 18 Km North of Mendoza city at 3800 feet elevation (1,150 meters of altitude), and is surrounded by the first 37 acres of Malbec vineyards that the company bought. For the Fabre Montmayou line of wines, the owners decided to buy exclusively old-vine vineyards in the best wine growing areas of Mendoza. Grapes arrive at the winery in 40 lbs. trays and the clusters are carefully hand sorted prior to the destemming. There is a second hand sorting table for individual berries as they come out of the destemmer to ensure that only the very highest quality grapes go into our wines. Fermentation is carried out by native yeasts at a controlled temperature with four pump-overs per day. Extended maceration (skin contact) allows for greater extraction of tannins, which will add structure to the finished wine before barrel aging begins.

Read more about Fabre Montmayou winery here: http://fabremontmayou.com/internacional/fabre_mendoza/quienes/whoweare.html

Experts Rating: JS 91 Pts.

CV Members Rating: 87 Pts.

Price: $22

4.  CV members Rating

Best Rated: 2013 Areo – Malbec Patagonia

Best value for Money: 2012 Amancaya Gran Reserva. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Domains Baron de Rothschild LafiteSee detailed evaluation here: Summary of Tasting Scores Argentina176

5. Regional Notes and Varieties Notes

Read about Neuquén and Mendoza Wines in this note prepared by Jairo Sanchez: Argentinian Wine



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