Currently on our Argentina wine tasting list we are showing a corker of a wine. I’m pretty critical when it comes to these things (Virgos are apparently) but I have never had a bad word to say about it and for that matter, I have yet to come across anyone else who has either. It was even a success story when I showed it to Senor Rico’s friends, who are generally very hard to impress and sometimes ever so slightly uptight. QUE RICO! (How delicious!) DONDE PUEDO COMPRARLO? (Where can I buy it?). Well, you can’t buy it in Coto supermarket, that’s for sure.
The wine in question is San Gimignano Malbec Roble 2010, by Mevi Boutique winery that is based in Maipu in Mendoza, Argentina. Apart from the constant words of praise, there are two questions that I always hear about this wine: Number 1; what the heck does roble mean? Number 2; San Gimignano? I thought that was a town in Tuscany Italy? Isn’t this wine from Mendoza?
Both easy answers. Firstly, roble is the Spanish word for oak and whenever you see it on a wine label here in Argentina it will denote that the wine in question will have had a substantial amount of time in oak, whether that be French, American or both. Mevi Boutique stipulates that for their wine to be classified as a roble it must have had 12 months in oak, however not every winery matches up to these standards (there are no wine laws here in Argentina like the Appellation Controlee in France). The difference between a roble line and a classic varietal line are considerable. In the case of Mevi Boutique their ‘varietals’ are solely stainless steel production, no time in oak and typically showcase fresh, youthful, and the essential fruity flavors of an particular grape varietal; great, easy drinking Argentine wines. However they will only age for 4 years or so and tend to have lighter bodies and less prominent tannins. The ‘roble’ lines, aged in both American and French Oak, can not only illustrate the fruit characteristics of the grape but also brings forward complexities and aromas from the oak, essentially making it a wine of higher quality.
Secondly, the wine is from Maipu, Mendoza no question about that. Like many other Argentines, Italy, in this particular case San Gimignano, is the place where Mevi boutique owners Rolando Meninato and Oscar Vignar ancestors originated from. Meninato and Vignar (first prize goes out to whoever can figure out why the winery is called MEVI) have been working the land of Mendoza since 1991 when they bought a small farm in San Martin, Mendoza and built their first winery. However, since 2010, they expanded and opened a high-tech, all-signing, all-dancing winery in Maipu Mendoza to produce their limited production Argentine wines.
Mevi Boutique San Gimignano Malbec Roble 2010 is a 9,000 bottle production, tiny enough to make me want to scramble around and snag every last bottle!
The colour is flecked with vibrant magenta, while the depth is medium in comparison to some other Malbecs I have come across in my time but you mustn’t let that fool you into thinking that this wine will not have the body or the power. Just lifting the glass you your nose will tell you otherwise. The aroma is incredibly intense with sensational layers of all manner of delicious notes. They most prominent scent is that ‘roble’, coming across as cedar, but with more time and air, the fruit rears into the forefront with ripe black plum, a hint of black cherries and figs, delicately laced with sweet spiced notes of cinnamon, vanilla and clove. Lingering on the back I can personally always find a note of coconut, which I tend to not share with the groups anymore as it often end with quizzical glances that read, ‘she is one crazy lady’.
The mouth does not fail to live up to it rock-star aroma. A fruit forward attack with the most intensely supple, velvet body, laced with well balanced, sweet and structured tannins and an insanely long finish highlighting a delectable walnut characteristic, I could not want to hog this wine more. MY PRECIOUS (only for those of you who are ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans). Every time I try the San Gimignano Malbec Roble it gets better and better. But this isn’t the only roble that Mevi makes. There is a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Syrah too…..hmmmmmmm, time to raid the Anuva wine fridge!
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