Next up on the chopping board for my mini-terroir Argentina wine tasting project (please refer to my previous blog if you have no idea what I am talking about) is a wine from deep down south of Argentina; a mystical and magical land, known to most as Patagonia.
Patagonia is known for its dramatic landscapes of immense proportion; picture perfect glassy lakes leading on to high mountainous peaks and of course breathtaking glaciers. It is not, however, necessarily known for its wine, so maybe that is why we can find wineries named Bodega Secreto Patagonico and the like. Yes, Patagonian wine is still seemingly somewhat of a juicy secret that is currently unveiling itself to the world wine industry and is set to steal the show, with the regions Neuquen and Rio Negro as the stars.
The wine in question today is indeed from family owned winery Bodega Secreto Patagonico, their Malbec Roble 2006, Single Vineyard production from San Patricio del Chanar, Neuquen, Argentina with 12 months in a combination of French and American Oak. The vines in San Patricio del Chanar were planted in only 2003 meaning that this wine was the first vintage that Bodega Secreto Patagonico actually ever produced! It is not unusual to find such young vines in Patagonia; in fact some of youngest vines in the world come from this area with most being planted under 10 years ago. Don’t be fooled by these youthful ankle-nippers; they are tenacious little fellas competing with rather extreme climatic challenges, for instance, the summer sun in Neuquen is so fierce that many winemakers will have to protect their most valuable vines with netting so they don’t get sunburnt; but on the plus side (that is if you are into rip-roaring high alcohol content wines), that strong sun also allows for lots of lovely sugar to develop which allows some wines to have potentially mind-bogglingly high percentages of alcohol. Also working in Patagonia’s favor are the strong cool desert winds that sweep through the vineyards, blowing out any pest and humidity lowering the possibility of rot as well as thickening the grapes skins for increased strength and vibrant colour furthermore allowing for more organic wine production in the area.
The colour was certainly intense, with tinges of burgundy and brick red running through it but the depth was a little lighter than I expected it to be as these grapes are supposedly thick-skinned. The aroma contained little fruit, possibly a hint of blackberries but nothing more, not surprising considering that the age of this wine is pushing 7 years, instead strong but pleasant notes of oak came across in waves of savory (typical from French oak) and sweetness (typical from American oak) bursts. First came the sticky sweet caramel scent, blending gently into roasted almonds, then pistachios and finally an incredibly lingering note of deep, dark bitter coffee. It actually made my stomach rumble so in haste to quite the beast I slurped back the full bodied wine to find all the sweetness of caramel and maybe some vanilla on the entrance but the finish was completely contrary. It became herbaceous and slightly green, something like blackcurrant leaf, nettles or even basil but the last lick of flavor was definitely flinty, a note which is typical of Patagonian wines from Argentina. The soil in and around San Patricio del Chanar is stony and full of minerals, which is not only great for drainage but also imparts some of its mineral flavor to the wine itself. There was some warmth in the mouth coming from the 14% alcohol content but not unbalanced. Its body was smooth and supple with substantial tannins that all in all made it very easy drinking and pleasurable. Great for chilling out or chowing down!
Even though it was a great wine, I think the Las Nencias from Valle de Uco in Mendoza still has taken the gold medal for me….let’s see if the north of Argentina can come up from behind with a surprise steal….just like China….
Incoming search terms:
- cavas de don arturo malbec roble 2003
- cavas de don arturo malbec
- Cavas de Don arturo Malbec Roble
- cava don arturo 2003
- reviews norton roble malbec 2009
- precio cavas de don arturo 2003
- precio de cavas de don arturo
- secreto patagonico malbec price
- bodega norton roble malbec
- secreto patagonico roble
- Argentina Wine Review – Finca Flichman Malbec Roble 2010
- Best Wines of Argentina: Wine Review, Las Nencias Family Selection, Malbec, 2008
- Finding the Best Argentine Wine: Catalpa Malbec Review – Bodega Atamisque
- Argentine Wine Review – Mayacaba 2008 Malbec by Bodega Mi Terruno
- Best Wines of Argentina: Malma Extra Brut, Bodega NQN