Tasting Notes: Eric Entrikin MS
Old Vines in Chile and Argentina: Of the themed tables for tasting the most interesting to me were the Old Vine wines. The Old Vines provided a glimpse into what these regions can do with lower yields. Unless the wines were overdone there was a true sense of terroir in many of these wines.
TintoNegro in Mendoza impressed me across their entire range. With their low levels of residual sugar, they really let the quality of the fruit shine. Across all five of their wines that I tasted there was a level of balance that was hard to find in some of the highly extracted, high-RS wines. I'm in complete agreement with Christopher Bates on the quality being displayed by TintoNegro.
Tasting Notes: Chris Tanghe MS
El Porvenir de Cafayete: Started in 2000, this is a high-end boutique winery where Paul Hobbes consults. High elevation in Salta keeps the wines fresh and vibrant in this rich winemaking style.
NQN: Located in Patagonia, this winery started producing in 2001. Large diurnal shifts help the clusters ripen slowly and retain acid here.
Bodega Benegas: Founded by the great-grandson of Tiburcio Benegas, who founded Trapiche in the late 1800s. Vine material is impressive as it ages from 80-120 years. Really polished and well made wines. They are based in Lujan de Cuyo.
Emiliana: Biodynamic estate making wines from Colchagua, Rapel & Casablanca. Established in late 1990s. We had the opportunity to taste one of their wines from 2001 and it was still very primary, lots of life left.
Maquis: Based in Colchagua and established in 1927. They sold all their crop until they planted preferred clones in the late 90s. First vintage was 2002. All wines were 13.5% or less.
Tasting Notes, Christopher Bates MS
Tintonegro: A project dedicated entirely to Mendoza Malbec and its terroirs.
Dante Robino: Begun in 1920 by Dante Robino after emigrating from Italy, this winery remains a family business.
Bodegas del Fin del Mundo: Located in Patagonia, with its dry winds and huge diurnal shifts helping to maintain balance. This winery planted its first vines in 1999 and has now planted 2000 acres since.
Belasco de Baquedano: A Spanish distiller-turned-winemaker purchased this estate, comprising 222 acres of old vine Malbec, in 2003.
Vina Ralco: This line from the Sur Valles group offers a huge range of wines; although some performed better than others, they offer a great value.
Apultagna: Producing wines from a wide range of regions from the Maule to San Antonio, this winery has a large portfolio, but the Carmenere really stuck out as being both typical and distinctive.
Vina Arboleda: Edwardo Chadwick’s personal project in the Valle de Aconcagua is broken into two vineyards, the Chilhue (costa) vineyard and the Las Vertientes vineyard.
Von Siebenthal: Founded by a Swiss lawyer-turned-Chilean winemaker, this winery brings the traditional style of the Valle de Aconcagua to life. The wines show ripeness, but are still balanced by that very distinct Chilean undercurrent of pyrazine.
Other Notable Producers in Chile: I would like to also add a shout out to a few more well-known wineries including Concha Y Toro (brilliant), Cono Sur (really well made range) and Carmen (for Carmenere).