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Clos de los Siete, Argentina

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

For all six member wineries, yields are very low, with 6-7 tonnes per hectare maximum for Malbec. Grapes are hand-harvested in 12kg boxes, pass through a sorting table, and all movement is by gravity. There us a cold maceration for all varieties, but the length and temperature depends on variety and vintage. Each variety is vinified separately in steel, then run straight to oak barrels, all French. Michel Rolland buys the barrels directly in France, believing the quality is better than French barrels source in the local market.

Clos de los Siete

Clos de los Siete 2006
45% Malbec, 35% Merlot, 10%CS, 10% Syrah. 15% ABV. Fragrant, quite crisp and brightly fruity on the nose with small raspberry and violet nuances, and the creamy and cedary oak in the background. In the mouth plenty of extraction, with real grip from tight, grainy tannins and a real liquorice grip. Good acidity, with plenty of sour cherry. Needs time, but a big, savoury wine. 89/100

Clos de los Siete 2005
50% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10%CS, 10% Syrah. 15%ABV. Quite a fine, Syrah-like nose, with tight, quite subdued aromatics. The palate has the same, very powerful, very concentrated character, with masses of sour cherry fruit and blackcurrant, a certain meatiness, but the tightness and svelteness of the fruit battles against that liquoricy extraction and plum skin grip. 88/100

Clos de los Siete 2004
50% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10%CS, 10% Syrah. 15%ABV. Meatier on the nose, with earthy aromas, tight blueberry and cherry fruit. The sweetness of the fruit comes through powerfully, with that inky, tannic extraction adding a phenolic grip. Too extracted and powerful. 86/100

Clos de los Siete 2003
50% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10%CS, 10% Syrah. 14.5%ABV. More lift on the nose, with some kirsch and cherry, and a lot more finesse it seems. The palate has a nice coffee quality to the oak, with plenty of svelte, juicy fruit. A velvety mid-palate adds to the impression of harmony. Lovely stuff. 89/100

Clos de los Siete 2002
100% new barrels, 40% Malbec, 20% Merlot, 20%CS, 20% Syrah. 14.5%ABV. A nice earthiness here, with a touch of briar and intense, possibly very slightly green fruit. Good quality from three-year-old vines. 88/100


Mariflor Pinot Noir 2006
Big mocha coffee nose, a certain earthy and vegetal quality to the fruit. Massively sweet fruit on the palate, with a great flood of strawberry and ripe, creamy berry fruit. It finishes a little short, with tannins and a sour cheery acidity cutting into the super-sweet fruit quiet abruptly, perhaps missing a little mid-palate texture and weight. 86/100

Mariflor Pinot Noir 2005
Lighter, more briary and truffly nose, with much less of the coffee flavour. Some of the smoky barrel comes through, with rounded berry fruit starting to emerge. The fruit is extremely sweet, and in fact this is slightly more harmonious, though again I feel the tannin and acidity, and perhaps alcohol are rather abrupt, it is a wine showing promise and it has more charm than the 06 at this stage. 88/100

Flechas de los Andes

Flechas de los Andes Grand Malbec 2004
Lovely floral lift, with intense, smooth chocolaty black fruit. This has very nice mouthfeel and presence, with plenty of richness, though perhaps lacks a little freshness and savouriness - certainly a big style of Malbec. 87/100

Flechas de los Andes Grand Corte 2004
Big, powerful, meaty and intense nose, with smoky and fudge-like notes, and plenty of tannin and extraction. A bit leathery, a bit stewed and balsamic. A big, powerhouse wine with masses of concentration, but not my favourite style. 87/100

Cuvelier los Andes

Cuvelier los Andes Collecion 2005
62% Malbec, 20% CS, 7% Merlot, 8% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, 60% aged 12 in French oak, second and third fill. Nice smooth nose, with a cedar and savoury note, and quite a Bordeaux-like feel. Sweet fruit and nice balance here, with not too much extraction, and a very balanced, savoury length. 89/100

Cuvelier los Andes Grand Vin 2005
70% Malbec, 10% CS, 7% Merlot, 9% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot aged 14 months in new and 2nd fill French barriques. Adds an element of purity and precision, with fruit very svelte and composed. Lovely ripe sweetness, with length and a very pure black fruit quality, the balance and length are very good. 90/100

Cuvelier los Andes Grand Malbec 2005
Masses of violet and sweet kirsch and blackcurrant sweetness, with massive blue/black sweetness and ripeness. The sweetness powers through, but this also has massive concentration and grip, with mouth-puckering tannins and lovely fluid, silky mouthfeel and intensity. Long and delicious. Around $43 US. 90/100


Monteviejo 2005
60% Malbec, 20% Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. 100% New French oak for 14 months. A little touch of meat stock and gravy, with nice plummy fruit, and a touch of leather and smokiness. On the palate a flood of smooth, sweet fruit, with lots of bright, pert acidity and ripe, fine tannins that are suede-like and supple. 88/100 $25 US

Monteviejo 2004
70% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot in new oak for 15 months. Very intense, varietal Malbec nose, with a floral, meaty and violet nose that is very appealing. Mouthfilling sweet fruit, with terrific intensity and plenty of focused, pure fruit sweetness. Nicely balanced and rounded again, with a harmonious, if decisive acidity. 90/100


Lindaflor 2004
100% Malbec. Vinous nose of black fruit and some bloody, earthy notes. The palate has gorgeous fruit - really fat and luscious, but with layers of flavour and real intensity. A little hot and liquoricy in the finish, but a very nice wine. 89/00

Lindaflor 2003
A very harmonious wine, with a suede-like suppleness on the nose, with rounded, glossy fruit, but has nice little aromatic fireworks of briar, old roses and spice. Palate is integrated and very smooth and powerful. 90/100 $45 - $50

Val de Flores

Val de Flores 2005
From Michel Rolland's own vineyard of 50-year-old Malbec. Very tight and compelling, with a subdued but complex aromatic of blue/black fruit, with little gamy notes and some floral aspects. The palate has a tight liquoricy quality, with very tight, steely tannins and a certain appealing, lean core with sweetness, but a whole savoury foundation of tannin and elegant acidity. Vine age and natural concentration win through. Not on market until 2009 possibly. 91/100 $50

Val de Flores 2004
Slightly more open and meaty, with a touch of vegetal, cedary quality, but then the black fruit comes through strongly. On the palate lovely sweetness here, with real mouthfilling intensity, a powerful but fine-grained core of tannin and sour cherry acidity, and very nice focus pushing through to the finish. This is very integrated and very together. Harmonious stuff and is the reference point for Malbecs in this project quite obviously. 92/100

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