Bodega Chandon Demi-Sec, Mendoza – Blend of Chardonnay, Semillon and Pinot Noir. Lovely pale peach color and plenty of fine bubbles. Very minerally upfront with a light touch of sweetness. White cherry, cinnamon, a touch of paraffin. Light to medium bodied. Moderate acidity. Well balanced. Long finish, mostly minerals with that touch of sweetness. Excellent with spicy food.
Familia Perulán Tannat-Malbec Extra Brut, Mendoza – Red pop red, right down to medium sized bubbles. On the nose, red plum, raspberry, light spice, and a hint of violets. Slightly off-dry, medium bodied, moderate acidity, slightly bitter upfront, forward fruit, short finish with noticeable alcohol. Interesting as a noir de noirs, though in the scheme of overall sparklings, not all that exciting.
Callia Alta Reserve Chardonnay – Viognier – Pinot Gris 2008, San Juan – Medium straw gold. Aromas of baked apple and canned peaches immediately hit the nose followed by a touch of toasted brioche, butter and minerals. Dry and very minerally on the palate, followed by the fruit; fairly high acidity, light to medium bodied, and a long finish that’s all fruit.
Finca La Luz Sangiovese 2007, Valle de Uco, Mendoza – Deep, vibrant purple red color. Black cherry, cola, roasted coffee, green leaves, warm sand on the nose. Medium bodied, fairly high acidity, soft dry tannins, well integrated oak, great balance, long finish with a bit more emphasis on the roasted coffee bean notes. Recognizably Sangiovese, not always the case here in Argentina, and the most “Chianti-like” one I think I’ve tried.
Odfjell Vineyards “Orzada” Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Colchagua Valley, Chile – Deep red color with a touch of violet. Black currant jam, cedar, chalk, dark toast. Medium to full bodied, spicy, medium high acidity, dry, soft tannins, plenty of black pepper, juicy fruit, long finish. Overall quite good.
Cristobal 1492 Shiraz Oak Reserve 2004, Mendoza – Vivid violet-red. Somewhat neutral nose with hints of mushroom, blackberry and toasted oak. Medium bodied, high acidity, dry tannins, well integrate though noticeable oak, lots of fruit on the palate, far more than suggested by the nose – blackberry, boysenberry, and a good amount of white pepper, particularly on the long finish. Good, but not a wow.
Navarro Correas Alegoría Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2005, Mendoza – deep ruby red color. Tar, blackcurrant, brambles, licorice and toast on the nose; medium to full bodied, moderately high acidity, soft tannins, well integrate oak, fruit forward, long finish, mostly tar and toast. Quite good.