Monday, October 27, 2014

Visit to Mendoza in Argentina

Hi all,

In January 2014 we visited Mendoza Argentina. We got there via Santiago in Chile, where we went to a local wine bar that had such an impressive selection of Chilean wine that a wine trip to Chile alone is warranted. But that is another story.

In Mendoza we discover of course the Malbecs. Caramel, dark fruits, licorice but interestingly quite price effective.

We visited a few wineries and here are my thoughts :

Day 1


While this was back in the days a very commercial winery ( had the train stop in their winery to load wine ) it had closed before opening again. It is now a historic winery that is worth visiting. We were however very surprised to see that they had a very nice selection of wines for very reasonable prices. We loved their wines and even after they were shipped back to us, the quality was still the same. We would go back and buy their wine any time. Maybe we will buy 2 cases next time.


 Carinae was founded by an alumni from my school in France, Supelec. It was great meeting them and it was the quintessential family winery experience. They do not have the size and variety of other wineries but it was great to meet another alumni. We haven't had much of their wines we shipped back so we still need to see how their wine ships and drinks after some time. Here we discovered the local famous Torrontes , with its Sauterne nose but dry body. A must try, a unique and extremely pleasant combination. We love it ever since.


We had lunch at a restaurant/winery accross the streeet from Familia Zuccardi and it was amazing. We recommend going despite forgetting the name of the restaurant.

Familia Zuccardi

Here they have quite a few unique wines from local grape varieties that we had never hear of before or since. Later on in a restaurant we tried the Zuccardi Zeta which did end up being amazing but we were unable to try it at the winery as far as I remember (or maybe we didn't appreciate it enough, not sure). In all cases we left without any wine from here I think, or maybe just a little as more often then not there are reasons why local grape varieties are not that famous (unlike the Torrontes of course). 

 Day 2


 We started day 2 at Cobos which is a local winery developed in a partnership between a Napa wine maker and a local Argentinian wine maker. So it presents as a Napa winery, it looks like a Napa winery and at first we thought the wines were just excellent :) When we saw the prices , especially compared with the rest of the wineries and compared with their wine price on the internet which we also checked, we weren't so sure that we wanted to buy any wine from them. However we did buy a case by the end and, weren't we surprised when this wine turned out to be the best wine after we shipped it home, unlike the wine from Melipal....


Now we have very mixed feelings about their domain. We loved the domain, and more importantly when we tried their wines in their tasting rooms we found their wines to be our favorite from all the wineries in Mendoza. They were also reasonably priced unlike Cobos. However , while they did warn us that the year we tasted and the year they had for sale were different, little did we expect to be shocked by such a quality difference. Once our case got home, the wine we had was really unpleasant, a few went down the drain. What a waste but more importantly what a disappointment. We couldn't wait to open them, and then we couldn't drink them. A very sad story.

Dominio del plata

Here we had lunch again and it was very good for sure. And guess what ? It is of course a winery also. I do remember we loved their wines, and quite a lot, but we ended up not buying anything at all because their wine was much cheaper in their own restaurant then the price at which they would sell us the bottles. We found that to be very offensive, they were taking us for stupid so we got offended and we didn't buy any wine. Yes, we sometimes will act out of pride... On the bright note they had interesting , and un-usual, Mendoza Pinot Noir and a few other ones. So a must try if we are psychologically prepared to the fact that they will sell you the same product for 2 different prices when they think they got you hooked.

Achaval Ferrer

Ah, and Achaval Ferrer, well, is supposed to be among the best in Mendoza. We found it to be good for sure. But not worth the exorbitant price they were charging. So we didn't buy anything. The visit was interesting for sure, probably one of the best as they let you try wine from the barrel in their cellar to compare qualities and understand the wine evolution. Quite interesting as a visit. Probably a good winery to finish with because you will know by then the quality and price of the average winery in Mendoza.

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