What are we Drinking?

2010.Mar.04 Thursday · 1 comment

in Drink

A few more recent tasting notes:

Santa Julia Extra Brut, Mendoza – Part of the Familia Zuccardi vineyards group – pale straw color, plenty of fine bubbles, this is an interesting sparkling blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier. Strong on the citrus notes, particularly orange, though a bit of lime and lemon creeping in, somewhat floral, good acidity, it falls slightly flat on the finish – the acidity doesn’t carry through and the flavors more or less die out quickly. Still, quite good, particularly with spicier foods, and a bargain at around 40 pesos a bottle.

Padrillos Pinot Noir 2007, Mendoza – A relatively new venture from Ernesto Catena, the Padrillos line is an inexpensive, yet quite well made couple of wines. The Pinot noir, in particular, stands out with strong berry fruitiness, lots of good spice, nicely balanced, good acidity and weight. Not overly complex, but eminently drinkable, a particularly good match with lighter meats like chicken and even a heavier fish. At 35 pesos for a Pinot noir with this much character, it’s a steal.

Zuccardi Serie A Bonarda 2006 – Another entry from Familia Zuccardi, we had this as our first bottle of wine out at Pozo Santo the other night. The Bonarda character shows true – like a strong, big brother to a Pinot Noir – lots of black raspberry fruit, plenty of spice, and a very soft oak note in the background. It has great length, depth and complexity and is absolutely delicious. Retail, it’s probably around 65-70 pesos, so not cheap, but not outrageous either.

Angélica Zapata Cabernet Franc 2003 – On Pozo Santo’s wine list, this was shown as a 2007, so we were pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a typo, and the 2003 was what was in the cellar. This is, I’m fairly sure, the first time I’ve tried a Cab Franc from Argentina with any age on it, so I was curious. It’s held up just fine, and tastes vibrant and fresh. On the other hand, I didn’t get a whole lot of Cab Franc character out of this – tasty a red as it was, it could have been pretty much any red grape with a core of dark fruits, a bit of spice and earth, but no standout identifying notes. Plenty of oak, possibly a touch too much, though soft and well integrated – that seven years has given it time to come together, I’d bet the oak is a bit overwhelming in new releases. At over 100 pesos a bottle retail, while just fine to drink, I think I’d rather something with a bit more varietal character.

García Riccardi Porto Andino 2005 – Quite possibly the most interesting dessert wine I’ve tried in Argentina. I’ve found no information about the wine and the label is of little help, just indicating that it’s a “vino casero”, homemade wine, whatever that may mean – no indication of grape variety or anything else. Despite its moniker and 20%(!!) alcohol, it’s not a Port style wine. In fact, it reminds me more of a lighter Madeira – it has that slightly hot, cooked flavor in it – toasted nuts, a ton of spice, sultanas, plenty of acidity. It has complexity and length, but not a huge amount of depth or weight. What a match with a cheese plate with some dried fruits!

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