This is without question one of our favorite Malbec bottlings in terms of
authenticity, character, and depth. If you ever wanted to know what
"Agrelo" Malbec tastes like at its best, let this be your lesson. Rarely do
we come across a wine that communicates "place" as this does. Brilliant
color, wild aromatics, rich mid-palate, incredible texture, this has it all.
Its thick, almost neon purple sediment is unlike anything we have ever
seen! Impenetrably dark. Aromas of plum, chocolate, baking spices, and hints
of vanilla. On the palate it is rich and viscous, with more dark fruit flavors
and round tannins.
Fincas Don Martino Winery
Fincas Don Martino is a creation of famed agronomist Mauricio Parodi and Buenos Aires Businessman Hugo Martino. The project began in 2002 when Parodi fell in love with the quality of fruit from "Viña Violeta", a small 18.5 acre vineyard in Agrelo, a sub-district within the Luján de Cuyo appellation of Mendoza. The vines, planted in 1926, are ungrafted Malbec clones originally brought to Argentina from France. The vineyard's high elevation (3,850 feet) allows the grapes to develop tremendous complexity via an extended growing season and large daily temperature fluctuations.
In addition to the two Malbec wines they produce out of the "Vina Violeta" site, the winery has recently begun producing small quantities of old vine Semillon from a heritage vineyard in Perdriel. As production is limited by the small size of these two vineyards, each of these wines have become "cult" items in their native Mendoza. All are produced organically and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
View all Fincas Don Martino Wines
Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local's everyday dinner. Yet it's hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.
Unlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.