The Vines of Mendoza

The Vines Thursday Blind Tastings


Every Thursday is a pleasure with a new lineup of different Argentine wines. A group of us meet, a mixture of Argentines and Americans with different palates, to decide which wines we like and would be willing to include in our Acequia Wine Club line up and Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room. Mariana, our sommelier, does an amazing job of creating different line ups of similar wines with different price points with increasing intensity and complexity, making our job easier by deciding simply which wines we feel are up to par for The Vines.

Today we tasted 10 different wines ranging in a cost price from $3.33 to $20. We have to take into account not only the wines characteristics now, but also in the future as we are looking for wines to export next spring. The process is long and cumbersome with the different governmental regulations, which is why our online store is the best place to find these small production wines.  Today there were a few highlights and it is often interesting to listen to the different characteristics that come out of the tastings and the discussions that ensue. You should probably steer clear of those wines that smell like mushroom soup, formaldehyde, reduced cherry cola but there were also wines with a fresh burst of cherry jolly rancher, mulled cider spices, and fresh crushed black fruit.

One discussion entailed the difference between cacao and cocoa and how each should be utilized in describing a wine, and interestingly enought it seems there is also a cultural aspect to the difference, with the Argentines associating cocoa with Nesquick, who knew??
The array of different varietals is one of the most interesting parts of tasting Argentine wines. Today we tasted 3 Syrahs, 3 Cabernets, and 4 Malbecs.  We are a pretty selective crew, yet are all distinctive in our tastes and are always surprised when we have complete agreement for a wine (a must buy then). There was one standout in the bunch today, the Montecinco 2005. Watch for this wine next spring when it should be absolutely amazing! Until next week and a new batch of lovely Argentine Wines. (Its a bit like Argentine Idol for wines.)
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