Mendoza recently hosted it's annual 'Premium Tasting'. This event was created to promote the best-rated wines from Argentina and includes wines that received 92 or higher points from Robert Parker Jr. and/or 91 or more point from Stephen Tanzer.
The most interesting aspect of this exclusive blind tasting which winemakers, sommeliers, select press, and the general public attend is the comparison and enjoyment of all these wines of different terroir and different styles. In this year's event, held mid-August at Mendoza's Hotel Intercontinental, we blind tasted 30 wines in groups of five wines per flight. After tasting each flight, the 300 attendees selected their favorite wine and immediately the favorite wines were revealed and displayed on a large screen in front of the room. It was an entertaining tasting and I particularly enjoyed observing the winemakers trying to recognize their own wines while also sharing their observations with friends and colleagues.
This year, The Vines' Head Winemaker Pablo Martorell had a shining performance as two of his wines were the favored selections in their respective flights. We spoke to him about the event and his wines shortly after:
What does it mean to you that your wines are so highly rated and regarded?
It confirms that we are on the right path. It is a mixture of pride and pleasure that highly recognized International wine critics speak well of wines that I have such passion for. The team at The Vines of Mendoza and Gimenez Riili winery have given me the opportunity to make some of the best wines in Argentina.
Why do you think it is important to make high-end wines?
The grape quality is essential, and we monitor this closely by walking the vineyards throughout the year, particularly during harvest. We listen to the grapes throughout the winemaking process. This allows us to best express the fruit's natural qualities and add a perfect selection of oak to glean complexity and aging potential.
What it can’t be missed in each of your wines?
Personality and true expression of their native terroir.
Your great wines that have been given high ratings are all different. How do you achieve this differentiation for each of them?
2014 has been a year of fantastic awards. At the Premium Tasting you participated with two wines. But your list of awarded wines also includes many others, doesn't it?
When do you choose to enjoy each of these wines?
RECUERDO MALBEC 2012 - 90pts – THE VINES OF MENDOZA WINERY: This is the perfect wine to enjoy everyday because of its fruit freshness and youth. The perfect partner for an asado (barbecue) with friends and family.
RECUERDO ALIADO MALBEC 2011 - 92pts – THE VINES OF MENDOZA WINERY: An elegant and sincere wine with a fantastic balance of fruit and round tannins, which I love. This is the ideal wine to drink to celebrate a special moment. Or to make an ordinary moment special!
RECUERDO GRAN CORTE 2011 - 93pts - THE VINES OF MENDOZA WINERY: Gran Corte is a great wine as its name implies. A wine for celebration. Complex, full-bodied but with an amazing elegance. I choose this wine to enjoy with my best friends and colleagues. It makes me feel very proud to be able to share this wine as it is from Vista Flores -- where I was born.
TIERRA DE DIOSES MALBEC 2008 - 92pts – YOUR PERSONAL WINE: This wine makes me very emotional. It reminds me of my childhood when I walked the vineyard with my grandfather, who was my best teacher. It is a complex wine with lot of character that is with me at the most important moments in my life.