I have been looking for something kinky, new and exciting, basically attention grabbing and I have found it with a wine from Argentina, owned by a former Bordeaux wine family, with a very odd (and downright delicious) blend of grapes. The wine is the 2011 Perlita by DiamAndes and the fruit is grown at over 3,000 feet in the Andes’ foothills. Interestingly, the consulting oenologist is none other than Michel Roland! I think he took this gig because of his past work with Alfred-Alexander Bonnie, late of Château Malartic-Lagravière (Grand Cru Classé de Graves) and of the Château Gazin Rocquencourt in Pessac. Basically, the family up and moved to Argentina, cashing in with some big bucks for their Bordeaux estates, and then made a state of the art facility in Mendoza’s Uco Valley.
Practices here are hand picking, gravity fed, gently extracted pressing, cooled fermentation, and oak aging, expensive practices that normally translate into a rich wine with great aromatics, and a usually high price- but not here. The wine is a blend of 80% malbec and 20% syrah and this is a really “kinky” marriage of grape types. The malbec’s strength of red cherries, flowers, and toasty chocolate teams nicely with the spicy nature of the syrah, and both Wine and Spirits Magazine, and The Wine Enthusiast have praised the firm and this wine is particular. I think you will find hints of blackberry, licorice, and black fruits in the mouth, and this is a tremendous steak wine. The price is $13 the bottle, or $140 the case, plus tax all around, and I promise three years of improvement with age. I consider this a red wine drinker’s wine. Let me know if of interest as there are 24 cases in Ohio before all my competitors read this and begin promoting the wine as they have no idea what the hell it is. Thanks!