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other Mendoza producers

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

Finca el Origen

Finca el Origen is part of Chile's Santa Carolina group.

Finca el Origen Malbec Reserva 2006
Nine months in barrel. Slightly smoky, fat, quite animal notes to nice cedary fruit but a touch overoaked perhaps. A certain creamy berry quality. Creamy and plush on the palate, with a nice bite of acidity and smooth, ripe tannin. A good wine, but perhaps a touch clumsy. £6 - £7.99. 85/100

Andeluna

Started in 2003, Andeluna say they trying to become one of the top quality Argentinean producers represented in the UK. They currently produce 40,000 cases, and have 70 hectares of their own vineyards. Most of the production goes to the US at present, and Michel Rolland consults for them.

Andeluna Torrontes 2006
Nice aromatics, with passionfruit and floral notes, and good fruit. Nice texture and not too oily. Good freshness and crunchy fruit. A good £5 wine if comes to the UK. 86/100

Andeluna Reserva Malbec 2005
Smoky bacon fat nose, with a sense of earthy minerality. A bit flabby perhaps, but has plenty of meaty and rich black fruit. Very nice wine if the price is £10 or so in the UK. 88/100

Andeluna Malbec 2004
New French oak only. Nice meaty and gamy nose, with a rich, thick berry fruit. Nice floral nuances and the kirsch brightness of Malbec. Good juicy fruit and nice persistence, with a chocolaty infill. Perhaps slightly hot. 89/100 $50 US

Andeluna Pasionada 2003
35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc. 12 months in new oak for separate components then re-blended for 6 months more. Lovely bright, focused, very fruity nose. Nice fat fruit, perhaps a touch over oaked, but has a liquoricy concentration. $50 US. 89/100

Mendoza Vineyards

Mendoza Vineyards are Fairtrade accredited and working towards organic certification with their vineyard owners (they don't have their own vineyards). The winery has a three million litre capacity, and Celina Fernandez is winemaker. The winery was established in 2004.

Fairhills Chenin Torrontes 2007
Lovely, fresh, very appealing nose with juicy citrus and plenty of orange and floral notes. Very juicy and vibrant, with only 12.5 abv. Nice mouthfeel and juiciness. 86/100. £4.99, Tesco

Fairhills Shiraz Tempranillo 2007
70/30 blend, nice meaty, appealing plum fruit, with good, robust fruitiness and a very soft, baked plum character. 13% alcohol and nicely balanced, very delicious and warmingly spicy. 86/100.

Telteca

Distributed in the UK by Hallgarten and available in Laithwaites, Telteca are selling around 60,000 cases in total to UK at present. The name of the winery means "ripe fruit of the carob tree," and their vineyards are in a real desert area north of Mendoza, where the carob tree is the only surviving tree and there are only 80 mm of rainfall per year.

Telteca Andes Sur Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2006
Two harvests for SB, one early to minimise need to acidify. Nice bright nose, mostly with the lemon and light butteryness of the Sémillon, and a hint of tropical fruit. Nice juicy palate, with a rich orange and crisp lemon character. 12.5% no great zing, but pleasant. £4.99, Hallgarten. 85/100

Telteca Malbec Roble 2005
Bright berry fruit and a smokiness from 50% second fill barriques and staves. Some floral notes that seem rather rose-like and highly perfumed, in an almost artificial way. Rather astringent with a certain harshness, though a dry sense of minerality helps. £5.99, Hallgarten. 85/100

Belasco de Baquedano

Belasco de Baquedano is Spanish owned, having been established in 2002 in the Agrelo/Lucan de Cuyo region. They produce only Malbec from their own vineyards. This estate shows huge potential.

Belasco de Baquedano AR Guentota Malbec 2005
Very nice nose, with real sense of minerality and plenty of bright floral and kirsch fruit to juicy berries. High quality French oak, with juicy, ripe blackcurrant fruit and a lots of finesse and racy freshness very nice wine this, with richness and flesh but a fresh appeal. Suggested price of £12.99 if in UK. 92/100

Belasco de Baquedano Swinto Malbec 2005
500 cases that will be £14.99 in UK. A slightly higher extraction and ripeness, which actually suppresses the aromatics and makes them slightly baked and dull. Blackberry fruit comes through nicely, and the palate has plenty of richness and plummy, vanillin gloss and weight, but prefer the AR for its finesse. 90/100

El Rosal

Based in San Raphael south of Mendoza, there are two vineyards of 40 and 20 hectares, planted mainly to Malbec and Syrah.

El Rosal Malbec 2005
Approximately £6.50 if in the UK. 3 or 4 months in a mix of new and old French oak. Very bright, kirsch like and up front, with raspberry and cherry fruit. The palate is very fruit-focused too, with plenty of chewy tannin and plum skin fruit but a nice sweetness and freshness. 87/100

El Rosal Malbec Reserve 2005
Would be £7.80 in UK. Vineyard selection of fruit, partial barrel ferment. One year in French oak. Good fruit and some freshness, but seems to have a slightly dirty bacterial note? 84/100

Joffre e Hijas

Available from Great Western Wines in the UK, Pasion 4 range is named after the four daughters of the owner. Based in Uco Valley, 600,000 cases are produced and the estate is mainly export driven. They farm 116 hectares, 80% owned by the family plus they have long term management of another 20%, with plans to buy. Another impressive estate.

Joffre e Hijas Pasion 4 Bonarda 2006
60-year-old Bonarda. This has a nice freshness, with a cherry and berry fruitiness. Plenty of ripe berries and good acidity here. Nice earthy quality and great style and freshness for the money. 15% in third fill oak. £5.99. 87/100

Joffre e Hijas Pasion 4 Malbec 2006
Lovely, pure chocolate and cherry nose, with a touch of kirsch and blueberry aromatic, and a touch of cedar. The palate has a lovely life and smoothness, with great blackberry fruit is very composed and smooth, with warmth. A little star. £5.99. 87/100

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