The Vines of Mendoza

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Amanda Barnes is a British journalist who makes her own bread and butter by drinking wine around the country. Actually, she spends her bread and butter on wine.

Winemaker's Night: Qaramy


Last Wednesday at The Vines Winemaker’s Night small producer Qaramy presented their wines to the Tasting Room and an audience of wine lovers, locals and tourists. Based in the Uco Valley they specialize in wines just from their vineyards. I chatted with owner Leonardo Bromberg after the tasting.

You like to leave the vineyards to take care of themselves you said in the presentation, what are your thoughts on biodynamics?

It seems like a very interesting theme and we practically do it. In the Uco Valley the type of maintenance in the vineyard is practically organic and biodynamic. We try not to use chemical products in the vineyards. For example if we have ants we try to look for the nest and avoid using chemicals elsewhere. The spirit of Qaramy is to respect nature – I love nature and want to respect that.

We have tried two wines from 2005 tonight, can you remember what you were doing in 2005?

Uhhh… I was very worried and busy with the process of winemaking, learning a lot about the international market of wine, to find out what I was entering! Our winemaking started in 2000 and our commercial part started in 2005. I remember being on top of the tanks looking at the colour of that moment! I remember the barrels arriving etc, and all those things.

Qaramy means poetry in the native Amaya language, are you a poet? Do you have a love of poetry?

No. When I read a great poem I cannot believe such talent, it is something I admire. But my creativity is not to the same level! I think wine though is a part of art.

One of your wines, Latido, means ‘heartbeat’. What makes your heart race?

I am a lover of nature and I love the outdoor sports. I love motorcycles for example. And I love emotional shocks – like seeing a beautiful woman.

The wines we tried: 

Latido Malbec, 2012: A soft and voluminous Malbec with fruit driven nose and a touch of oak to balance it out. A clear showing of a simple Malbec from the Uco Valley and a good price for $11 US.

Qaramy Malbec, 2012: Beautiful color with distinct purple shades. A more refined fruit than Latido but a similar expression of Uco valley Malbec at altitude. A smooth integration of oak which gives it good food pairing potential. $70 pesos. 

Qaramy Finca, 2005: A treat to try an older wine with the three varieties from the vineyard: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. For an 8 year old wine and as one of their first harvests this is quite an interesting wine to try: good structure with subtle spice and leather and dried fruit on the finish. A unique opportunity to try an aged wine from a small producer. $70 pesos.
Qaramy Alto, 2005: The same blend as Finca but with more concentration and more time in first use oak. Much more structured and a greater complexity than Finca but the same authentic Uco expression and a great cooked fruit, spice and worn leather combination while retaining an attractive freshness. A complete steal at $100 pesos. 


amanda mountainsAmanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza and her heat beats faster whenever she takes a moment to look at the endless sky above her. Cheesy, but true.

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