Malbec and Beyond: Artisan Argentine Wine Tasting and Dinner

January 20th, 2010  |  Published in Wine Events

Argentina Wine Tasting Dinner Rockwood Ontario Woodside Malbec

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Ottawa Wine & Food Show 2009: Bodega Clos de Chacras Earns a Gold Medal

November 25th, 2009  |  Published in Clos de Chacras, Wine Events

Ottawa Wine & Food Show 2009
For the second consecutive year, an artisan Argentine wine from Bodega Clos de Chacras has won a gold medal in Ontario!

On the weekend of November 6, 7 and 8 this year, Spectrum Wines and the Woodside Wine Appreciation Club headed to the 24th annual Ottawa Wine & Food Show. We were pleased to learn that this year the 2006 Cavas de Crianza Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded the gold medal in the Cabernet $15-$20 category. (The 2005 Cavas de Crianza Merlot was awarded the gold for “best Merlot in the $15-$20 range” last year.)

It was great fun having some of our Ottawa-area members visit the booth, which again was part of the Embassy of Argentina group effort.

In addition to Clos de Chacras, Ottawa wine enthusiasts were also able to sample small-production wines from Tempus Alba, Los Cerrillos, Serrera, and Hacienda del Plata all of which were very well-received.

A huge thanks goes out to club members Marg and Nil for all of their assistance at the show.

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Marton Andina: Serrera Bonarda 2007 – Hints of Caramel

November 26th, 2008  |  Published in Featured Wines, Serrera

In Argentina’s long winemaking history, up until only recently the Bonarda grape was the most widely-planted red grape for wine production in Argentina (it has since been surpassed by the mighty Malbec).

serrera bonarda ontario spectrum wines woodside wine clubOf Italian origins, Bonarda in Argentina can produce a wide range of lighter to heavier bodied wine, the latter of which tend to display characteristic fig and raisin flavours. While it’s not yet very common in Ontario, we anticipate that in the near future it will be.

Serrera Bonarda 2007 is one that has caught our attention. It’s an excellent Bonarda with lovely, playful notes of caramel on both the nose and palate.

Tasting notes:
Deep, intense purple color, bright, with violet hints. An aromatic display of floral and minted notes, with hints of caramel. Balanced and harmonious in the mouth, it has good structure and expresses finesse and finishes long.

Serrera Bonarda 2007 by Marton Andina
- Available exclusively to the Woodside Wine Appreciation Club in Ontario [BUY]

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Clos de Chacras: Cavas de Crianza Merlot 2005 – Gold Medal in Canada

November 2nd, 2008  |  Published in Clos de Chacras, Featured Wines

One of the most widely planted wine-producing grapes in the world, the relatively thin-skinned, early-ripening Merlot grape is often used in blended wines, where its finesse is often employed to temper bolder, more tannic grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. On its own, Merlot grapes tend to create approachable, single-varietal wines with medium to full body and playful aromas of spice and fruit.

Clos de Chacras Cavas de Crianza Merlot 2005In Argentina, the Uco Valley of the Mendoza region is now producing Merlot of highest quality, and joining other New World regions in bringing superior quality wines to the world stage.

Cavas de Crianza Merlot 2005 from artisan winemaker Mariano Quiroga at Clos de Chacras is a benchmark example of the quality wines of the region. This very small production wine impressed a panel of distinguished judges at the international Cellars of the World 2008 competition in Ottawa, Canada – winning a gold medal.

Tasting notes:

Exhibiting excellent varietal character, this deeply violet coloured Merlot has delicate yet intricate aromas of spice and fruit and gentle notes of vanilla and coffee from the oak aging process. On the palate it’s honest, with medium body and is harmoniously balanced with sweet tannins.

Cavas de Crianza Merlot 2005 by Clos De Chacras
- Gold Medal – Cellars of the World 2008 Ottawa, Canada, November 2008.
- Available for a limited time and very in limited quantity in Ontario, exclusively to the Woodside Wine Appreciation Club [BUY]

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Tempus Alba: Tempus Tempranillo 2007 – A Big, Chocolatey, Gold Medal Wine

October 14th, 2008  |  Published in Featured Wines, Tempus Alba

The Tempranillo grape, and wines made predominantly from it, are most often associated with the old world, in particular the Rioja region in Spain. The black, thick-skinned grape is responsible for imparting both body and aging potential to Spanish wines, and typically results in flavours and aromas of berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herbs. But, much like the now world-famous Malbec grape, Tempranillo has also found a new home and is thriving in Mendoza, Argentina.

tempus tempranillo 2006 ontarioThe Tempus Tempranillo 2007, from esteemed artisan Argentine winemaker Jose Luis Biondolillo of Tempus Alba, is one such shining example. Expressing excellent varietal character, this Tempranillo is ready to drink now or cellared short term. This delightful wine earned a gold medal in the international Cellars of the World 2008 competition in Ottawa, Canada (2006 vintage).

*Tasting notes:
Reminiscent of a well-made wine by its Spanish counterpart, the Tempranillo grape has found a welcoming home in Argentina with over 6,000 hectares of the grape being grown. Deep coloured and endowed with an inviting nose of red cherry, tobacco, herbal scents, and sweet spices. Solid with a good spine of tannin and a body that pulls together the acidic component. Try it with pan-fried fish or roast chicken stuffed with bread, spices, almonds, and pine nuts. Matches well with tapas as well.

Tempus Tempranillo 2007 by Tempus Alba

- Gold Medal – Cellars of the World 2008, Ottawa, Canada, November 2008 (2006 vintage)
- “A big chocolatey wine.” ~ Tony Aspler Wine Diary, January 2008
- Available exclusively to the Woodside Wine Apprecation Club in Ontario [BUY]

*Tasting notes by Genevieve Kennedy, Sommelier

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Tempus Alba on Wines of the World TV

August 29th, 2008  |  Published in News from Argentina

Tempus Alba in Ontario Canada

Tempus Alba enologist extraordinare Jose Luis Biondolillo (whose winemaking talents have brought from Mendoza to Ontario exquisite Malbec, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more) was recently interviewed by Wines of the World.

Here he speaks about the winery, the varietals they produce, and the care put into creating quality wines. Watch the video to catch a glimpse of the lovely tasting room at Tempus Alba and a pouring of Pleno 2004 (an outstanding blend).

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Bodega Los Cerrillos: Uruco 2007 – a sophisticated Argentine blend

July 6th, 2008  |  Published in Featured Wines, Los Cerrillos

While many wine growers in Argentina are creating outstanding single varietals (well beyond Malbec), not as many are focusing on the art of blending. Bodega Los Cerrillos‘ most premium selection, the Uruco 2007 blend, is an shining example of a sophisticated Argentine blend.

Born in the beautiful Uco Valley in the Tupungato region of Mendoza province, Uruco is a testament to the quality and unique character of Bordeaux-inspired blends coming from new world regions.

Los Cerrillos Uruco 2006

While the dark fruit nature and complexity of this wine is undoubtedly due in part to its Malbec emphasis, we can also appreciate the added body lent by Cabernet Sauvignon, and the more gentle fruit finesse imparted by the inclusion of Merlot. By blending these varietals (that each have their own distinct characteristics), the result is artisan winemaker Juan Pablo Michelini’s carefully crafted, and elegant Uruco.

*Tasting Notes:
A black wine with aromas of tart sour cherry and blackberry. Grapes are hand picked from vines that are more than seventy years old, a common occurrence in Mendoza. The fruitiness of the Merlot grape makes a good blend and appeals to those who find Cabernet Sauvignon more tannic. Malbec, the signature grape of Mendoza, adds to the complexity and the excellent long finish adds to the enjoyment. This wine can be laid down and still enjoyed in four to five years.

Uruco 2007 by Bodega Los Cerrillos
- 50% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot

- rated 4.5/5 by Vic Harradine of Winecurrent (2006 vintage)

- Available exclusively in Ontario to the Woodside Wine Appreciation Club [BUY]

*Tasting notes by Genevieve Kennedy, Sommelier

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Hacienda Del Plata: Zagal Malbec 2008 – Bold and Bright

June 21st, 2008  |  Published in Featured Wines, Hacienda del Plata

hacienda del plata zagal malbec 2006 ontario spectrum winesWhen a small artisan winery created a simply brilliant 2004 Malbec that received big press as the best value malbec in the New York Times, what little was left sold out pretty much immediately.

Luckily, we were able to bring some of the last remaining cases of the 2008 vintage, to Ontario.

Hacienda del Plata’s Zagal Malbec is a great example of the quality-for-price that Argentina continues to impress the world with. It has vibrant varietal character, with a bursting, fruity nose, and it’s honest on the palate.

- Available exclusive in Ontario to the Woodside Wine Appreciation Club [BUY]

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Pulmary Estates: CUQ Bonarda Rosado 2006

April 5th, 2008  |  Published in Featured Wines, Pulmary

CUQ bonarda rosado rose spectrum wines

Bonarda is the second most-grown red grape in Argentina after Malbec, but not often is it used to create an organic, dry rosado with medium body with mild, pleasant tannins.

The CUQ Bonarda Rosado is truly unique wine experience, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the only Bonarda Rosado currently available in Ontario.

Lovely berry fruit flavours are harmoniously balanced by lively acidity. Great for summer sipping or with seafood.

Available exclusive in Ontario to the Woodside Wine Appreciation Club [BUY].

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