Argentina wines in LA (not!! yet…)

You know how it is. You spend a couple weeks in Argentina including a week just in Mendoza staring at the Andes [ed. the view from Vistalba] and tasting wines and you find stuff you really like. You have to decide “do I haul some back or have some shipped?” If you want to ship a case from Argentina via DHL it will set you back $240/case. So add $20/bottle to your U20 winners. Or you can join The Vines of Medoza wine club Acequia. The Vines has much of what you like on their impressive list and they ship for a lot less ( I mean a LOT LESS) than DHL.
[ed. alert: The Wall Street Journal published an article March 29 2008 on The Vines vineyard business.] (more…)

There are 1,200 bodegas in Mendoza…including Tempus Alba and Achaval Ferrer

For the busy readers of this blog who just want the purity of essence, here are the highlights in brief: (1) when touring Mendoza bodegas you need a driver and reservations; (2) the bodegas we visited in Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu made excellent wine, and (3) Valle de Uco is the must-see region. The photo is one view from Achaval Ferrer in Lujan de Cuyo.
One of the highlights of any trip to Mendoza is touring the bodegas (wineries, schmendrick). This is not Napa, or Sonoma or Paso, or Bordeaux, or Piemonte, or Languedoc. It is most like Languedoc in that the bodegas are spread out few and far between. And everywhere there are vineyards. It is Argentina and has quite possibly the world’s finest growing conditions for producing great wines.
We visited the following bodegas: Tempus Alba, Achaval Ferrer, Carlos Pulenta (Vistalba), Salentein, and Andeluna. We were set to taste at La Azul but we dawdled so long at Andeluna (meal o’ trip) that we blew that one. I crawled through an opening hole in the entry wall and went on the grounds to take a couple photos of the very humble bodega. (more…)

Show me the Malbec…Argentina parte uno

Salentein vineyard view 1.jpgJust flew in from Buenos Aires and boy is my palate tired.
The 14 day tour took us to Buenos Aires, Iguazu and Mendoza. I tried to poo-poo Iguazu as just another tourist trap but I was WRONG. Here is a youtube vid with a Moby track that in a very small way captures the majesty of this must-visit site for those of you traveling to Argentina. (more…)