Monday, June 23, 2014

Pura Sangre

Another World Cup Game. Another wine from one of the teams playing. The only thing is that today's games featured Iran, Ghana, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina - not exactly hotbeds of wine production, at least not such that their wines are available in the Vancouver market. Luckily, Germany and Argentina were also playing games.

Seeing as how I've already opened a German Riesling for an earlier game, I think it's fair to drink Argentina this time around - particularly since they won their game over Iran by a 1-0 score.

1639.  2005 Domaine St. Diego - Pura Sangre (Mendoza - Argentina)

I'd been holding onto this bottle for the "right" occasion. It's not that the wine is incredibly expensive or over the top with production values - it's simply a "rare" bottle that I may never have another opportunity to try. Domaine St. Diego was one of our favourite winery visits when Boo and I enjoyed a brief tour of Mendoza in 2010. A "garagiste" winery in the truest of senses, the winery is the small family-run operation that Angel Mendoza (what a great name for a winemaker in Argentina) set up for the years following his retirement from Trapiche - one of Argentina's best known wine brands - after 25 years there.

Rather than repeat notes I've already relayed on Domaine St. Diego, I'll just add a link to that earlier post for anyone who'd like a little more information on the winery and our experience there.

Pura Sangre is a big blend of 80% Malbec/20% Cab Sauv and Angel Mendoza, in concert with his wife, sons and daughter, looks to capture his "privileged terroir" in a bottle. While there's no denying that this is a big wine with a New World profile, Mendoza strives to avoid the globalization of wine and its attendant "contemporary defects such as over ripened grapes, excess alcohol, low acidity, excess of oak and oxidation." The wine may be big but there's plenty of finesse and balance evident in the glass as well.

The wine is a deep, dark red and that may well play into the wine's name, "Pura Sangre" which translates as pure blood. The naming of the wine isn't that simplistic though. The name is also translated as meaning "thoroughbred" and I suppose it's fitting to drink a thoroughbred of wine when toasting Argentina's prowess on the soccer pitch.

I only wish I had more of it! This was the only bottle that we could bring back with us. I guess we'll just have to try and make our way down there one more time.

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