Drunk July 2015, Fogo De Chao, Santo Amaro 6824 | Santo Amaro, São Paulo, Brazil
In 1992, Chandon Argentina, founded by Moët &Chandon in 1960, started the Terrazas de los Andes project and in 1999, Terrazas de los Andes was founded right at Mendoza’s heart in an old and restored Spanish-style winery that had belonged from 1898 to Sotero Arizu, one of the forefathers of wine making in Argentina.
Terrazas de los Andes is considered as one of the best producers of Argentina, and thus received the honor of being chosen by Château Cheval Blanc (Premier Grand Cru Classè A based in Saint-Emilion) for its first joint-venture in order to create the iconic Cheval des Andes.
The La Compuertas vineyard, from which this wine is produced, is located close to the northern end of the Mendoza river. The property has very deep soil, down to nearly 1.8 metres in places, though part of the property is close to a hilly area where the soil is shallower and somewhat rocky.
Ungrafted Malbec vines planted in 1929 enjoy an abundant source of clean, run-off water from the river and a longer ripening season thanks to the region’s cooler temperatures. Over the years, this vineyard has used a Guyot system with narrow rows and low trellises, irrigation provided by furrows running down the slope, a method used by the immigrants who started the industry in the province. This irrigation method brings silt and clay that retain moisture so less irrigation is used.
The 2010 vintage was classic and satisfactory. Weather conditions determined significantly pronounced seasons, considering that spring frosts reduced yield and helped increase grape quality. Summer was mild, whilst autumn was cool, dry and long. This led to a slow ripeness, resulting in distinct varietal, naturally acid and fruity wines.
Deep ruby red in the glass, plenty of cherry and blackberry on the nose. Heavily concentrated and silky on the palate with fine tannins and powerful blackcurrant and blackcurrant with a little spice and long finish. Maybe a little too intense on the fruit which reminded me a little of a Barossa Shiraz but this was mitigated somewhat by combining with food. An enjoyable Malbec though from a winery with an excellent pedigree.