Bodegas Renacer Milamore 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Aromas of dried strawberries, blueberries and plums. Hints of licorice, too. Full body, round and soft tannins and a powerful, fresh finish. A blend of 45% malbec, 40% cabernet sauvignon, 10% bonarda and 5% cabernet franc.
The Amarone-styled 2015 Milamore was produced from partially dehydrated grapes fermented to 15% alcohol, with eight grams of residual sugar. It has a nose of dried plums and raisins, dates and figs. The palate is sweet and tannic, a little unusual, but it could be interesting with some powerful food (cured hard cheese?) and might evolve in bottle. It matured in French oak barrels for 12 months.
Founded by Patricio Reich, with the collaboration of world-renowned winemaker Alberto Antonini, Bodega Renacer prides itself in bringing consumers the very best wines from South America’s unique terroirs. The winery structure itself is quite impressive, featuring a medieval tower built of rocks with state-of-the-art winemaking equipment. Renacer’s vineyards are located in Perdriel, a unique zone in Mendoza, Argentina, where the soil, altitude, climate and water come together to create the perfect growing environment for Malbec. In addition to Renacer’s more than 35 hectares of Malbec vines, the winery also purchases grapes from local producers in order to take advantage of Mendoza’s many terroirs — those in the Uco Valley, Lujan de Cuyo and Medrano. Vineyards used for Renacer’s bottlings are more than 50 years old and have very low yields. Through hundreds of years of trial-and-error experimentation, French winemakers have recognized that certain areas within a single vineyard produce grapes with different characteristics than other areas within that same vineyard. Thus, fruit from different sections within one vineyard, farmed the same way, harvested at the same time by the same method, and produced into wine with the same technique, can be dramatically different. The soils play a significant role in these differences for each unique terroir within a vineyard. Due to natural geological processes, soil properties can vary over distances as small as a few meters. Recognition of these small-scale variations within a vineyard can lead to wines that better reflect the terroir. Precision viticulture is an indispensable method to work the soil according to its true potential. Renacer determines these variations using digital maps obtained by Electromagnetic Conductivity Measures (ECM). The system registers 1,000 readings per hectare, which are then precisely stored and evaluated by computer and GPS to obtain their exact location within the vineyard. The result is a detailed map of the soil for precise vineyard optimization. This map allows Renacer to divide vineyards into homogeneous areas that are treated similarly in terms of irrigation and harvest time.
With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.
Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.
Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.
The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.