Bodega in Spanish most literally means cellar but obviously in the Argentina wine world it also means winery. We are also aware that in other Latin American countries and even in many cities in the US with large Latin populations, that bodega means a small shop or quickie mart. That meaning for bodega, quickie mart, in Argentina is the word “almacen”, which also means pantry, or where you store your dry food in your house.
Bodegas Lopez is one of the biggest and oldest wineries in Argentina. Their products can be found on all kinds of supermarket shelves all over Argentina and also wine shops in the USA. They have many different products including Vasco Viejo, Montchenot, and their classic Lopez line. All of these wines pertain to their “classics”.
Lopez is not known for making any wine that is highly rated. They are known for making inexpensive, reasonable table wine and this is what they excel at. Vasco Viejo, Montchenot, Lopez and Rincon Famoso are all table wine.
Rincon Famoso has an interesting vinification process not found at many wineries. Yesterday I had their 2006 vintage and was wondering why I was drinking an Argentine wine from 2006, as most wines in this price range (about 30 pesos as the supermarket) are not made for aging.
Bodegas Lopez actually allows this wine to age in enormous oak casks of between 5000 and 20,000 liters. These are much much larger than the traditional oak barrels of 275 liters, which is where most wines are aged when they profess to have oak aging. This oak aging is also done for a very long time, nearly 5 years. The result of which is an extremely light red wine with super light characteristics.
This sangiovese, merlot and malbec blend from Maipu, Mendoza has a light reddist brown color and a sweet, grape juice aroma. It is not complex, it is quite simple and light and is literally something that you could drink glass after glass of, as it has no bite and is quite smooth. You should not be ashamed to put ice or soda water in this wine on a hot summer day, as many Argentines do this, and this is not a wine where the complexities and characteriscitc will awe you, like at our wine tastings in Buenos Aires.
You can read more about this old school Argentine wine here.
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