As we settle into a New Year and we get ready for the 2015 harvest over the coming months, there are many wines from last harvest or harvests previous only just coming to light. Here’s a rundown of five beautiful wines just making their way to the market…
The Michelini brothers are a tour-de-force in the Uco Valley, and this is their latest creation. Fratello – Italian for brothers – won’t be the same every year, but this sublime first year is anything to go by it will soon be a cult favourite. A super small production of Syrah with a touch of Malbec, this comes from a very special spot in Tupungato where the vines have been left to grow freely without any chemical treatment and the wine is a glorious success: texture, dark fruit, wonderful spice, and finesse. This will be one of the year’s most collectable wines – stock up now!
Since young winemaker Santiago Mayorga joined the team at Nieto Senetiner there has been a slight shift in the direction of this traditional wine producer focusing on more single-vineyard concepts. One of the results is this excellent value Semillon. Recently launched, this is the only DOC white wine in Argentina and uses a variety that used to be more widespread than Malbec. Although Semillon is still in decline in Argentina, this wine might make some change their mind about the overlooked variety: a floral, orchard-fruit nose with a rich mouth and good body. Super value at $100pesos.
Criolla was the first grape that Spanish settlers brought with them over 500 years ago, without any set classifications it is seen as table grape and completely underrated. While Criolla gets a lot of bad press here, this wine will certainly shake things up. Coming form a very unique vineyard in high altitude Calingasta Valley (in the San Juan district next to Mendoza), this is fabulously easy-to-drink that will change your ideas about Criolla. Fresh, fruity, and rather pretty – drink this chilled and make sure to order two bottles before the limited stock runs out!
Cabernet Franc has been the darling of Mendoza for a couple years now, but this Cab Franc is bit of a revelation. The latest in the Eggo line from Zorzal, this also comes with zero oak and has only been aged in cement so you get a real sense of the fruit of the vineyard with minimal intervention. Coming from Gualtallary in one of the highest parts of the Uco Valley with deep rocky soils, this is a beautiful streamline wine with a brooding darkness and a spicy lift at the end.
Sebastian Zuccardi comes from one of the most respected wine families in Mendoza, but that doesn’t mean he is playing by the rules. As a result of Sebastian’s extensive Uco Valley terroir research, this Malbec comes from a vineyard 1400m in altitude in San Pablo and is vinified and conceptualised more closely to a Pinot Noir. An exuberantly fruity nose with a crunchy acidity leaving a fresh finish, this is a Malbec unlike you’ve tasted before. At only 12% alcohol, you’ll glug the entire bottle in no time. Good thing too because it is currently being sold in a pack of 3 since its launch in late 2014.