(2022) This Malbec comes from an organic vineyard 1,100m above sea level, with limestone in the soils. 60% was aged in 5,000-litre foudres for 10 months. Vibrant and deep in colour, the nose has the slight lift of Parma violet so often shown by Malbec, some charry notes, and there's a herbal edge to otherwise solid black fruit. In the mouth it is big and rich, but there's a gastronomic chewiness too, rounded by the oak and chocolaty tannins, cherry acidity filling in on the finish. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) Malbec vinified as a white wine. Cool, aromatic thiol notes, florals and greener characters. There is some apparent sweetness on the palate, it opens with a blast of ripe pear and apple, running into peach. The fruit-gummy ripeness is matched by good, quite pithy citrus acidity, and it finishes with plenty of tang and plenty of personality.
(2022) Made in concrete eggs (hence concreto), with wild yeasts, this comes from some of Zuccardi's stoniest soils in the Uco Valley and was made with 100% whole bunches. Super deep and vibrant colour, there is meatiness and earthiness on the nose often found with wild ferments, the palate loaded with savoury dark fruit, plum and a broad stripe of liquorice, whole bunch fermentation perhaps also adding a little firm, hessian character in the finish.
(2022) From the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina, there's a meatiness here, but also a sense of plushness with quite thick and rich red and black fruit, a touch of dark cocoa too. On the palate a big wine, substantial depth of black fruit, but a nice gravelly edge that gives it freshness. There's a sour cherry bite to the acidity too, again helping cut through the meaty density of the wine.
(2021) A Malbec from the Uco Valley of Mendoza in Argentina, this is a big, dark and plummy wine with some spicy fruit cake character and a hint of chocolate. That, says its producers, makes it a perfect candidate as a mulled wine base. On offer at £7.00 at time of review. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) 100% Malbec from the Agrelo region of Mendoza, this was matured in French and American oak for 4 months. Bright, dark crimson-purple colour, with a nicely lifted nose, some florals and ripe cherry, a little wisp of smokiness. In the mouth there's a coolness about this, a lithe feeling through the medium body and crunch of the acidity married to smooth and creamy fruit. A bite of liquorice or endive bittersweetness along with pert acidity and fine, linear tannins gives this a bit of bounce and energy on the finish too.
(2021) Despite the label, this is the Pedro Gimenez (i.e. Argentine) variety and not Spain's PX. Quite a bit of colour on this and a grippy citrus nose, lemon peel and melon skins, there's something herbal or floral in there too that is quite intriguing. The palate has a bold character, both in terms of that intense lemony flavour, and its texture. There's a certain fat on the mid-palate, and a dry, straw-like, lightly-salty savouriness on the finish. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2021) Firstly, a warning: in my bottle, and every bottle opened by the 12 tasters present, the deep red wine erupted explosively when opened, losing a quarter of the bottle - unfortunately over my oatmeal-coloured carpet. Whilst it may have been an amusing Zoom moment to see me and 11 luminaries including MWs and learned senior colleagues dripping in still fermenting juice, it really is a serious problem that for me makes this wine - based on this experience - impossible to recommend. It is made from Criolla Grande, fermented with natural yeasts under its crown-capped bottle, the Carbon dioxide of in-bottle fermenation captured and the wine sold undisgorged. There's an inky, plummy character, a touch of coal dust on the nose. On the palate there is a firm, bittersweet cherry fruit, some sweetness just to add a softening touch, but it is a relatively high-acid red style, reminding me a little of some sparkling red Vinho Verde made from Vinhão. What a shame there's an obvious defect in how this batch at least, was brought to market. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2021) This is 90% Pedro Gimenez, with 10% field blend of Gewurztraminer, Semillon and Viognier. The Pedro Gimenez is made in concrete eggs, with wild yeasts, and the field blend component is fermented in French oak barrel, spends two years under flor, and is added as a 'dosage' at bottling. There's a distinct bronze hue to the colour, and a very natural nose, the light yeast and cool earthiness of the wild ferment and flor, a nutty apple fruit character. Tiny hints of more aromatic florals, but way in the background. The palate is deliciously full-textured and refined, with a lovely weight of orchard fruit, salty notes, and a flowing, seamless transition into a lemon and salts finish. Really distinctive and one of the stars of this Criollas tasting for sure. Imported into the UK by Las Bodegas at time of review.
(2021) From 700 metres above sea level in Mendoza, unusually for a red wine this does not go through the softening process of malolactic fermentation and neither is it oaked, so clearly the winemaker was seeking a fresh and crisp style of young red wine. The florals remind me of Beaujolais, lots of cherry and spice beneath. In the mouth it is a real charmer, with loads of sweet red fruit, but a chocolaty and spicy background too, the acid fresh but not aggressive, and the whole picture fruit-forward and easy-drinking, though a bit of tannin just roughens up the finish nicely.