Tierra Divina Terra Rosa Malbec 2008
Malbec from Argentina, South America
The success of this combination is seen in the 2008 Terra Rosa, which is the darkest Terra Rosa we have produced to date; its core is so black it extends nearly to the edge of the glass. The combination of fruit from the two growing regions has yielded a wine that is both lush and focused, fruity and deep. In the mouth I find an inhiguing anise note beneath the typical dark plum fruit, which imparts a hint of spiciness. The finish is long and rich, but with a haunting lighhress in the aftertaste that is the hallmark of a good malbec. As always, Terra Rosa matches wonderfully with grilled meats, hearty pizzas and pastas, and other flavorful foods.
International Wine Cellar - "Good full ruby-red. Complex aromas of game, spices, pepper, bitter chocolate and wild herbs. Lush, rich and sweet, with malbec-typical flavors of blackberry and licorice. Broad and plush but with spine. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins. Serious malbec for the price!"
Tierra Divina Winery
Tierra Divina is owned by Patrick Campbell, the founder and former owner of Laurel Glen. Known for its elegance and age-worthiness, Laurel Glen is a Sonoma Mountain cabernet that has been acclaimed as far back as the early 1980s. In the mid 90s, decided to Patrick to purchase grapes from the North Coast and make Terra Rosa, designed to be a reasonably-priced alternative to costly cabernets in the market. REDS, an old-vine blend followed suit. With its catch-phrase "A Wine for the People," REDS developed a cult following for its creative marketing which positioned it as an everyday, easy-drinking wine. In the later 90s, Patrick discovered vineyards in Chile that were not being utilized to their full potential; and by 1997 he had moved the entire Terra Rosa line to Mendoza where hebecame the first North American producer to make wine in Argentina.
Patrick majored in English, got a masters degree in Theology at Harvard then played viola in several orchestras in Sonoma County (more recently, he has seen the light and now performs bluegrass on the fidlde). While studying Buddhism and living at the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, he found his calling in viticulture. A self-proclaimed "vineyard guy," Patrick oversees the farming of every Tierra Divina vineyard in Lodi and Argentina. He believes that great wines start in heritage (aka old-vine) vineyards. Heritage vines' complex root structures spread broadly to collect all the micro-elements the soil can provide and they naturally produce lower yields, lending higher-concentrations of flavor in the wines. Starting with a great vineyard then focusing on proper management minimizes the need for "fixing" or manipulating in the winery. Tierra Divina wines are honest and vineyard-specific wines that exhibit integrity and depth.
These days, Tierra Divina vineyards are found exclusively in Lodi, the "Zinfandel Capital of the World," and Mendoza, Argentina where malbecs are the acclaimed varietal. REDS, an old-vine zinfandel blend and ZaZin, are known for being balanced, elegant wines in contrast to many highly-extracted, over-the-top Lodi zins. Terra Rosa, Tierra Divina and Vale la Pena are vineyard-specific, varietally-correct, 100% malbecs. They tend to be less oaky and more balanced than their Mendoza counterparts. Patrick flies to Argentina 5 to 6 times per year to sustainably farm the heritage vineyards in the foothills of the Andes mountains. He makes the wine in Argentina, then ships it up in containers where he barrel-ages and bottles it in Sonoma County. View all Tierra Divina Wines
Notable FactsUnlike 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.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.
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