01 March 2007

Foster's Malbecs and Carmelo's Cab

Some more reviews posted across at Argentine Wine Guide: a pretty reasonable Chardonnay from Salentein's shining light Callia; a good value cheapie Malbec from Salentein's other workhorse Finca El Portillo; an unusual fume Sauvignon Blanc from Chakana which is nice idea but doesn't really come off; and a Valle de Uco Torrontes from Lurton that unfortunately just reinforces that you need to look further afield, i.e. to Salta, for a decent representation of this variety.
But the big movers are the Malbec range from New York based Spanish investor Enrique Foster. Foster was a California Zinfandel fan until he discovered how big and round Mendoza Malbec could get. Now he's a convert, having opened his own Bodega here with 100-year-old vines and talented and experienced (ex-Finca La Celia) Mendocino winemaker Mauricio Lorca. Foster's only interested in doing Malbec, and Mauricio is producing a signature style from the entry level Ique right through to the Limited Edition that scales very well to price. If big, sweet, juicy, spicy and complex is your thing then you need look no further.
If, on the other hand, you want to taste Cabernet Sauvignon in all its tannic and herbaceous complexity, you owe it to yourself to hunt down Carmelo Patti's Cabernet varietal. It's a classy wine from a quite remarkable local winemaker who deserves to be much more widely recognised and celebrated. Carmelo's 2002 does more than enough to earn a Top Drop rating.


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