[youtube nHYrLpYiKgo The Vines of Mendoza | Winemaker Night | Angel Mendoza | Domaine St. Diego]
Winter is showing in Mendoza and our editions of Winemaker's night have come to an end until September, when we will be able to enjoy beautiful warm evenings in our patio again.
A memorable Winery put an end to the first edition of Winemaker's Night 2009: Domaine St. Diego.
Domain St. Diego is one of the most picturesque wineries in Lulunta, Maipu. A winery with a lot of charm and personality. Ángel Mendoza, the owner and oenologist, is a local wine celebrity. Angel and his family have focused their attention on small harvests from only their best vines in order to produce a limited production of quality wines.
I would love to share with you a small conversation I had with him.
“You should bear in mind that I am a 60 year-old oenologist beyond the good and evil. And my thoughts are already of those who JUST DRINK AND LIVE WINE”
Q1: When is a wine, a great wine?
A great wine is the result of a silent exchange between the winemaker and the vineyard during the first 9 vintages. Throughout that time,it will be possible to work out a simple and natural road towards the most accurate winemaking. It is the addition of small, but important details during the process of winemaking from the vineyard to the winery. Wine is a craft that requires love, discipline and passion.
Q2: Which wine has given you the most satisfaction since the beginning of your adventure in the wine industry ?
As with my children, all the wines have given me satisfactions, especially when they were asked to be sold. In 1975 I worked in a modest winery called MAROON, we obtained gold medals for our PINOT NOIR - CHARDONNAY AND CABERNET SAUVIGNON. It was one of the first contests of Argentine wines organized by the National Institute of grape and wine-growing (INV).
I remember notable emotions with outstanding wines from Trapiche Winery, where I worked for 25 years. Furthermore, I have enjoyed very much, several wines which I helped make in wineries when I am or was a consultant.
Nowadays, my main love is for the wines I design with my family. Some are species in extinction, like CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1996 - ANGEL A.MENDOZA - CONCERT 5 MALBEC 1999. They have a French style due to their long aging. The contemporary wine children of DOMAINE ST.DIEGO are already giving signs of being respected and admired by our friends. PURA SANGRE has 8 bottled vintages and we’ve had 5 vintages of PARADIGMA . They have already reached the honor of being noble wines. Yet, they still need time to become GREAT wines.
Q3: How do you see the future of Argentine wine in the World?
Argentine wines have a great future in the world due to their privileged terroir in addition of a generous sun and passionate people who make them. I hope that globalization does not globalize its contemporary defects such as over ripen grapes, excess of alcohol, low acidity, excess of oak and oxidation. Viticulture and enology must be more rational in order to increase the prestige and define better the elegance, the finesse and the balance of our wines.
Q4: What do you enjoy the most in being a winemaker?
I enjoy the naturalness of it, I am disgusted by the superficiality of the media.
It entertains me to apply what enologists theoretically predict and then they do not apply it. I enjoy teamwork. I detest the idolization and the glamour of vine..
I do not believe in “wines of author”, because there are many hands that lovingly participate in making the wine. I just aspire to be a good director of orchestra in the symphony of wine chemistry and wine sensory.
When speaking of wine, one cannot speak in the first person of the singular but in the first person of the plural.