2006 Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Federico Villafane

This was one of the first wines I enjoyed when I discovered my passion for wines. The Single Vineyard category is a selection of the best three Malbecs that Trapiche chooses every year from the vineyards and the producers they work with, while these wines become their statement for excellency. These wines spend 18 months in new French oak. It’s been more than one year since my last tasting of this wine.

2006 Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Vina Federico Villafane

The color is dark purple, opaque and youthful, with absolutely no signs of evolution. The nose is developed, sweet, with intense aromas of coconut, caramel, ripe blackberry and raspberry, mocha and spices. Full bodied, with an extremely silky mouth-feel and a firm tannins structure, the wine is opulent and rich on the palate. The finish is long and intense, with sticky sweet flavors that do not let go of your cheeks and a healthy grip of tannins that provide freshness to this massive, otherwise concentrated wine. (91/100)

I am very curious if this wine will evolve and develop other subtleties in time. I guess that remains to be seen. Meanwhile the wine is extremely open and available for drinking as it is.

2004 Enrique Foster Malbec Limited Edition

This is the oldest Argentinian Malbec I had so far and it was a big curiosity for me to see how a New World wine evolves with age. The wine is dominated by primary aromas an there is no sign of evolution. My knowledge so far with these type of New World wines is that they cease any particular evolution after their 4th or 5th year from the vintage and what happens is that eventually, the wine dries out, losing the sweet, fruity aromas that usually dominate them, leaving very little that can excite the palate. Naturally, the exceptions can be interesting to sample.

2004 Enrique Foster Malbec Limited Edition

Dark red purple color and really thick legs on the glass. A very complex nose, complex, well developed and oaky, peppery, a mix of black fruits, coffee and floral. Full bodied, heady and super concentrated, with depth on the palate and rich flavors of black fruits jam, ripe blackberry, cranberry and gooseberry, with touches of coffee and pepper; very ripe and velvety tannins, but also a good grip just to give enough freshness and stop it from being a massive fruit bomb. Sumptuous palate. There is good balance and real complexity in this wine. A long finish with rich flavors of black fruits and spice with assertive tannins. (91/100)

Nachbil Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 and Lorca Fantasia Torrontes 2008

I love a quiet SUNDAY morning with hot coffee and without the rush of reaching the office by a fixed hour, usually very early. I like to spend quality time with my better half planning the new refurbishment of the house and trying to figure out how to find a good and reliable working team for that. I think that is as easy and possible as finding a free parking place in Piata Romana at noon: it is really about one’s luck. This SUN we invited over our friends Crina and Catalin for a group cooking session. The menu was very simple and easy to make: grilled chicken stuffed with orange, asparagus and mash potatoes. I am sharing the menu with you  not because is something fancy, but to give you an idea of why I chose the  wines we had: a white Torrontes from Argentina and a red Romanian Cabernet Sauvignon.

Torrontes became the emblematic white wine of Argentina. I believe Argentina is the only country to produce it and therefore it is considered a wholly Argentine variety. One variety that is inexpensive and delivers great pleasure.

Lorca Fantasia Torrontes 2008

This bottle of wine was 8€. The bottle represents the entry level from Mauricio Lorca bodega. He is chief winemaker at Enrique Foster and formerly of Chilean-owned giant Finca La Celia, Catena, and Luigi Bosca. He creates his own wines using grapes from high-altitude vineyards in Vistaflores, Uco Valley.

This wine has a clear medium lemon color. The nose is clean, youthful, with medium intensity of peach, flowers and orange citrus fruit. It has a beautiful structure on the palate, a very pleasant acidity, lots of fruit and floral flavors, mangoes, rose petals, plenty of body for a wine with such delicate aromas and flavors. The wine is quite dry even if it leaves the impression of some sweetness on the finish. Good.

I read a very interesting article this morning published by Financial Times-FT.com wrote by the famous Jancis Robinson on Hungarian wines. It seems that “Hungarians are so proud of their viticultural heritage that they are prepared to pay high prices for their best and/or most famous wines, which tends to make them seem overpriced outside Hungary. The same phenomenon curbs exports of the new generation of much-improved wines from countries such as Greece, Turkey, Israel and Mexico – and even makes the top wines of Spain difficult to sell abroad.”. Full article here.

I believe the same applies to Romanian producers and their wines. It is the case for the red wine we had from Nachbil as our second choice. I tasted several wines from this producer last year: Shiraz 2003, a nice complex wine, Chardonnay 2003 very similar to a good Chablis from Burgundy. Shiraz 2004 and 2005 were big disappointments with very light aromas and pretty much no aftertaste.

Nachbil Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

The wine has a pale clear red color. I decanted this wine for about 1 h. The nose reveals aromas of red cherries, smoke and tobacco. Unfortunately they are overpowered by alcohol. In the mouth the wine has a light to medium body, medium acidity, showing discreet notes of blackcurrant, violets and black cherry. The wine finishes with light aromas of blackcurrant and some slight bitterness in a short aftertaste.  I find this wine poor and overpriced,considering the 60 RON price. For the same price Hyperion 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a serious competitor.

Dear reader,  I’ll finish my post leaving you with a question. If you can spare a few moments of your browsing time please write a comment, you don’t need to use professional words, and share your experience:

–          Have you had Torrontes so far and how did you like it ?

Thanks for reading…

2007 Trapiche Single Vineyard, 2006 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir and three Romanian whites

After a busy week at work I had a lovely FRI dinner with our friends Calin, Anne, Razvan and my better half, Andreea. Food was very good, company amazing and the wines pretty decent. We had 2 red wines and 3 whites. Here they are:

2007 Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Vina Fausto Orellana de Escobar

As I wrote in an older post dedicated to another one of the three 2007 Single Vineyard bottles, each year Trapiche chooses the three best producers of Malbec of the vintage and releases them in a special wooden case with large and heavy bottle format. I already had the chance to taste Vina Adolfo Ahumada 2007 and I didn’t like it, as it had too much oak and had a very short aftertaste. The Fausto Orellana de Escobar is a totally different story. This Vina was included in 2005 Trapiche SV selection and I remember the wine having all the ingredients of an excellent bottle of Malbec. The 2007, even though is young, already impresses. The wine has a red purple color. The nose has strong mineral characters: graphite and ink., floral with violets and also black pepper. There is a very discreet hint of oak, but it just gives the wine more complexity. In the mouth the wine is concentrated with full body,  sour cherries, blackberries and blackcurrant, has a nice acidity to balance the 14.5% alc and again a very nice hint of oak that balances all these components in a harmonious way.  The aftertaste is medium plus. One thing that is disturbing about this wine is a hint of heat you can feel on the back end. I think that in 8-12 months the alcohol will integrate well creating an excellent bottle of Malbec.

2006 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. Pinot Noir has found its next best place to grow and provide excellent wines in Oregon, in USA.

Our 2006 Drouhin Pinot Noir was decanted for 1 h and drank over 1h. I have to confess the wine showed better after 2 h. The color was a medium ruby red. The nose was initially dominated by red fruits: black and red cherries,raspberries all covered by a nice lactic note and by alcohol. As the wine was breathing in the decanter more flavors emerged: mushrooms, spices, herbs; the sensation of alcohol vanished after 2 h. In the mouth the wine was medium plus body, nice acidity, good structure, flavors of raspberry, black cherry, a bit of earth. Finish is delicate, medium plus, with red fruit notes and a nice tannic structure. The aftertaste changed also with time towards spices and earth. Again some heat was present on the back end. I think this wine should be decanted for at least 2-3 h before poured in the glass or give it some years in the cellar to let it balance the 14.5% alcohol it has.

Poesie di Raffaello Cuvee Blanc

A blend of 4  grapes if I am not mistaking. The wine has a clear lemon green color. The nose is full of floral notes. In the mouth the wine is off dry, light body, has a high acidity with bright fruits and floral notes. The aftertaste is short. I liked the high acidity of the wine but I did not like the notes in the aftertaste.

2007 Origini Tamaioasa Romaneasca Budureasa semi sweet

Color was clear lemon. Nose full of peaches and white flowers(shock). In the mouth the wine has nice acidity that doesn’t make the wine flabby, nice body, peaches and more flowers. The aftertaste is short-medium.  Good wine for dessert.

Livia Sarba Cotesti

Color lemon green, watery-white intensity. Nose is floral with mineral notes. Good acidity, youthfull, floral, off dry, light body, short finish. Not a fan of this wine.

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Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Vina Adolfo Ahumada 2007

This is one of the three bottles released by Trapiche in 2007 as a part of the Single Vineyard collection.  The Single Vineyard is Trapiche’s flagship selection of the best three Malbecs produced each vintage from the areas they harvest.  I have tasted their 2004, 2005 and 2006 releases so my expectations were high as all those three vintages produced delicious wines.Each of the three wines from the Single Vineyard collection spends 18 months in new French oak.

The Vina Adolfo Ahumada 2007 was decanted for 40 min which was too short unfortunately.

The color is dark red with purple hues. The nose is youthful, oaky with coconut, vanilla, ripe blackberry, chocolate, dried plums, sandalwood and tobacco.  In the mouth the wine is medium plus body, with sweet vanilla, ripe tannins, and plenty of ripe almost candy like spicy red and black cherries. The wine finishes sweet with a medium aftertaste. The wine is still very young at this stage but further bottle aging will bring balance and harmony to this 100% Argentinian Malbec. Still a nice and approachable New World wine already. It is recommended to decant the wine at least 2 hours prior to serving.

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