Salon del Vino – Part III

2005.Oct.13 Thursday · 2 comments

in Drink

Buenos Aires – Wrapping up the other night’s wine tasting:


As I’ve mentioned in the past, Uruguay is a true up and coming wine producing country. Currently only a couple of dozen wineries export, but several hundred produce, and more and more are looking to the fine wine and export market every month.

Casa Filgueira Premium Merlot 2002 – A juicy, light styled wine with good red fruit, but a lot of green, vegetal character characteristic of grapes picked while still unripe. Not recommended.

Pisano Arretxea Premium 2002 – A blend of various grapes from the Pisano winery (which if you’ve been following along you know is a favorite of mine), this wine is spicy, bright, full of red fruit, and has a long finish. Highly recommended.

Catamayor “Castillo Veijo” Cabernet Franc 2004 – Spicy, nicely balanced, a little fruit, and on the light side. Okay.

Viña Constancia Ariano Cabernet Franc 2004 – A very strong aroma and flavor of green olives, good red fruit, spice, and a long finish. Recommended.

Don Pascual Petit Verdot 2004 – Spicy, bright fruit, a little jammy, good finish, overall an extremely well made Petit Verdot. Highly recommended.


Chile, of course, is well known in the wine world both for decent table wines and for high end, world-class selections. For whatever reason, although there were Chilean wines “on the bar” in the Top 70, there were none being represented at separate tables, so I didn’t taste any from that class, just from the “regular” Chilean wine table.

Anakena Pinot Noir 2003 – Not a common grape for Chile, so of course I had to give it a try. Lots of sweet berry fruit, a bit vegetal, and completely out of balance. It was also, for some reason, being served rather warm. Not recommended.

Viña Chocalán Cabernet Franc Reserve 2003 – Very ripe plum flavors, almost sweet, floral, and a touch of peach. Plenty of oak, in fact, just a tad too much. Not recommended.


Steadily stronger and stronger in the international market, Argentina is definitely moving towards catching up with its western neighbor, Chile. Each year we see more selections of high quality fine wines of top caliber.

Dolium Reserve Malbec 2003 – Dark fruit, chocolate, spicy, great balance. Dolium has long been one of my favorite wineries from Argentina, and I think their “regular” Malbec is one of the best buys for this grape in particular. The reserve is even better. Highly recommended.

J. Alberto Malbec 2004 – The “second label” of Bodega Noemia, this is a spicy, big wine with tons of bright, ripe fruit, a touch of chocolate, and great length. I actually like this better than the “first label.” Highly recommended.

Bodega Noemia Malbec 2003 – I’m not sure if is the difference in the year, or just the style, but although this is a delightful wine with bright cherry fruit and spice, I found it a little short on the finish, and not as interesting as the same winery’s second label, above. Recommended.

Cadus Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 – A strong entry from another favorite winery, Nieto Senetiner. Lots of jammy black fruit, spice, and well integrated oak. A long finish. Highly recommended.

Kaiken Malbec 2003 – Although not stated on the label, the winery rep stated that this is actually the reserve bottling. It has good dark fruit, a touch of leather, and cocoa. Slightly alcoholic on the finish. Recommended.

Kaiken”Ultra” Malbec 2003 – A second entry from the winery, more or less the “grand reserve” of the line. More or less the same as above, but very closed right now. Recommended.

Kaiken “Ultra” Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 – Dark fruit, very strong tannins, and very closed right now. Lots of structure and I imagine it will open up nicely in a year or two. Recommended.

Pulenta Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 – Extraordinarily vegetal, like stewed tomatoes, some red fruit, very little else going on. Not recommended.

Pulenta Estate Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 – A 60:40 blend of the two grapes, I can’t really say anything more about this than the pure Cabernet above. Not recommended.

Trapiche “Ciento Veinte Años” 2002 – A classic “Bordeaux blend,” i.e., Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot; this is a spicy, bright wine, with lots of fruit, lots of structure, and great balance. Highly recommended.

Martina Chapanay 2003 – A blend of both Cabernets, Malbec, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Bonarda, from winery Don Doménico, this is a spicy wine with a decent amount of red fruit, but a very short finish. Recommended.


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