Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Argentine Bordeaux

It never helps - especially when you're in a rush and falling behind with your writing - when your best source for information isn't available. An easy winery website would have come in handy with this bottle but, when I logged onto the site, I found it's "under construction." Jeez. Guess that just means that I'm a little more concise with this post - and be thankful that the back label is actually quite descriptive.

1452.  2006 Bodegas Santa Ana Unánime (Uco Valley - Mendoza - Argentina)

One thing I remember - even without the winery website - is that this is one of the bottles I picked up back at the 2010 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. Argentina and New Zealand were the featured regions that year and we saw a great array of Argentine wines that wouldn't normally be available in our market.

I'm glad to say that we still enjoyed this bottle as much now as I (apparently) did back at the Festival.

Bodegas Santa Ana was founded in 1891 and, as such, was one of the first wine producers in South America. It is found in the Uco Valley which is an hour's drive south of Mendoza. While the Uco Valley is considered part of the Mendoza region, it is developing a reputation of its own by playing home ground to some noteworthy wines. As the area's elevation is slightly higher than many of the vineyards from other Mendoza sub-regions, Uco Valley experiences slightly cooler temperatures overall and a wider diurnal swing in daytime to evening temps. This climate, in turn, allows the winemakers to emphasize a little more finesse in their wines should they desire to take that route.

I've mentioned previously in the blog that one of the most surprising facets of Argentine wine that Boo and I learned when we visited Mendoza in 2011 is that there is a lot more than Malbec and Torrontès going on there. We were particularly taken by all the blends that were found everywhere - but weren't necessarily making it out of the country.

This is one of those such wines. A Bordeaux blend - and being Argentine - Malbec features prominently in the blend, but for only 25%. The lion's share of the wine - at 60% - is Cab Sauv, with the balance of the blend being Cab Franc.

It's definitely a New World, fruit forward take on Bordeaux blends but it surely hit a sweet spot with us. I only wish I'd bought a few more bottles of it back when I had the chance because I don't think it's available in town nowadays. This one bottle just didn't last long enough.

Here's to finding another.

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