Humberto Canale Estate Pinot Noir

Humberto Canale Estate Pinot NoirOne of the exciting parts of being a wine writer is the seemingly endless variety of places, styles and types of wine you can find.  Despite the fact that California, France, Australia, Italy, Chile and Spain seem to dominate the wine shelves in the US, there is wine produced in each corner of the globe.  If you just buy your wine from the end-caps at the grocery store, you’re just scratching the surface of what’s available.  This is one of those wines that I find and I’m excited to taste something from a wine province I don’t come across everyday.  In this case, it’s Patagonia, Argentina — one of the world’s most southern wine regions.
Although I don’t come across it everyday, and can’t recall any Patagonian wines that I’ve had an opportunity to taste previous to this, this isn’t a new winery.  Humberto Canale has been producing wines for over a century.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a Patagonian pinot noir, but I was pleased with what I found. Read more

Ricardo Santos Malbec

Ricardo Santos MalbecRicardo Santos is the former owner of the Norton Winery and thirty-some years ago he was the first wine producer in Argentina to export Malbec.  Unless you’re new to wine or have been living below a rock you know that now Argentine wine is nearly synonymous with Malbec.
Given Santos’ description with Malbec, I was really excited to taste this wine.  What I found was not a predictable Argentine Malbec.  It was much more earthy and not as “huge” as a lot of additional Malbec.  We usually taste blind, so in full disclosure I’ll have to say that I didn’t taste this one blind. Read more

Redwood Creek Malbec

Redwood Creek MalbecI was in fact a small surprised when I saw that Redwood Creek had a Malbec.  I typically reckon of them as producers of Californian wine.  After all, the brand name “Redwood” makes you reckon of northern California.  But Redwood Creek is ultimately part of E&J Gallo, who distribute wines from all over the world.  You’ll see Frei Brothers referenced on Redwood Creek wines too, and they are also part of E&J Gallo.
It turns out that Redwood Creek has been producing Malbec for a few years, I just never noticed.  Most Malbec that I come across I expect to come from either Argentina or Cahors, France — not that additional regions couldn’t grow it — and this one is from Argentina. Read more

Doña Paula Estate Malbec – Lujan de Cuyo

Doña Paula Estate Malbec – Lujan de CuyoIn winery years, Doña Paula is subdue relatively young, with it’s roots going back to just 1997.  It was in fact founded by Grupo Claro from Chile, owners of Viña Santa Rita, as they diversified operations into Argentina.  You could say it was a excellent investment, as demand for Doña Paula wines has driven the winery to buy additional vineyards and expand operations over their relatively young lifespan.
After tasting the 2007 Malbec, I’m not surprised that they’ve been so successful.  I should note that Doña Paula released a few different Malbecs in the 2007 vintage, this one is from the Lujan de Cuyo vineyard. Read more

Tercos Malbec

Tercos MalbecTercos is a relatively young wine brand, but the men in the rear it have a long family description in the wine business.  The winery is owned and operated by Pedro and Patricio Santos, sons of Argentine winemaker Ricardo Santos.  Ricardo founded the Norton winery in the 1970′s and in more recent years has been producing wine below his own name brand, Ricardo Santos.  He was the first to export Malbec to the US and for years only all ears on Malbec—although he now also produces a Semillon.
Ricardo’s sons have worked with him at his winery, and now they have their own mark.  Patricio Santos is the winemaker for Tercos, while his brother Pedro manages sales and marketing.
The name, “Tercos” means “stubborn” in Spanish and is meant to represent Pedro and Patricio’s stubborn commitment to quality.  The marks feature a burro, known for their stubbornness. Read more

Trapiche Broquel Malbec

Trapiche Broquel MalbecAs I continue this series on Malbec I’m struck by the fact that it seems like it’s just been within the past ten years that most of us in the US started to notice Argentine wines, and the rise of Malbec seems to be at the crux of that.  But wine has being produced in Argentina for ages.  In fact, Trapiche has a 120 year description in Argentina.
I’m starting to signal like a broken confirmation with this comment, but Trapiche has several different marks of wine that they produce, at different fee points.  Broquel is one of their most affordable brands. Read more

Silvertop Malbec

Silvertop MalbecI was a small suspicious from the get go with this wine.  I didn’t know anything about the producer (and subdue don’t) and the fee seemed too excellent to be right.  The website listing on the mark, silvertopwine.com doesn’t appear to exist anymore.  And the importer, Standing Wine Group, doesn’t list this wine on their website.  At least both of those facts are right at the time I’m prose this, who knows if it will change.
While I had my fears, I subdue bought a bottle.  While I wasn’t as turned off by this wine as I thought I would be, it subdue wasn’t fantastic. Read more

Trumpeter Malbec from Rutini Wines

Trumpeter Malbec from Rutini WinesFounded in 1885 by Italian immigrant Felipe Rutini, Rutini Wines is one of the oldest wineries in Argentina.  They currently have 255 hectares of vineyards in five different parts of Mendoza, Argentina.
The grapes for this Malbec come from 9 year ancient vineyards in the Vistalba province, about 3,000 feet above sea level.  The grapes were hand-harvested and destemmed for a 15 day fermentation and maceration.  The wine is aged for 7 months in a combination of American and French oak. Read more