Wine From Patagonia

July 29, 2008

It is not often one comes across wine from Patagonia, a remote, cold montaneous region of South America shared by Argentina and Chile. At least, that is what I thought until I looked into it. The primary, internationally well known wine region in Argentina is Mendoza, which I have never associated with Patagonia. When I think of Mendoza I think of hot summers, flat lands and rolling hills at the foot of the Andes. I associate Patagonia with jagged mountain peaks, ice and wind. The two do not really go together well.

So I am sitting in a wine bar in Seattle and I see a wine from Argentina labeled as from the Patagonia appellation. Wow, I thought to myself, I must try this. Nowhere on the bottle does it say Mendoza so this must be real, not a gimmick.

I ordered the wine and as I am sipping on it I am geeking out and using my new iPhone to look up wine regions in Patagonia. Little did I know that Mendoza is in fact still considered Patagonia, even though it is relatively far north. Well, so I got scammed 🙂

In fact the wine does taste very much like a Malbec from Mendoza. It is rich, fruity, bold, new world style and not super elegant. It is very drinkable, though, especially on a somewhat chilly Monday night. Would I buy a bottle? Probably for nothing else but to take a better quality picture of a wine label that says Patagonia.

Name: Baqueano Patagonia, Malbec, 2007

Rating: 7 out of 10

Body: Full

Price: $9.50/glass, $31/bottle (restaurant/bar)

Got it at: Flying Fish, Seattle, WA

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Inexpensive Burgundies

July 23, 2008

I love Burgundy but do not love the price levels of these beauties. So I am always on the lookout for decent Burgundies at a good price. Today I got one that is fantastic value for the quality. The wine is A. Chopin & Fils “Les Essards” Cote De Nuits Villages. It is fairly high in acidity, still young, but already shows nice complexity and if it spends some time breathing it can become fairly soft. Definitely recommended, especially if you consider that I paid a whopping $25 for the bottle.

Update: the wine really exhibits much deeper, complex characters once you let it open for a couple of hours. I highly recommend to decant this pinot, it will thank you for it.

Cheers–Zoli

Name: A. Chopin & Fils, “Les Essards”, Cote De Nuits Villages 2005

Price: $25 (discounted off $35)

Body: Medium

Got it at: Dee Vine Wines, Pier 19, San Francisco

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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