Cara Sur Criolla Chica 2019  Front Label
Cara Sur Criolla Chica 2019  Front LabelCara Sur Criolla Chica 2019  Front Bottle Shot

Cara Sur Criolla Chica 2019

  • RP92
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • RP93
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Cara Sur is bringing some of the oldest vines in Argentina back to the forefront. This bottling is 100% Criolla Chica (otherwise known as País in Chile, or Mission in California) from 80 year-old vines in San Juan.The grapes are partially destemmed and fermented in concrete before aging in large vats for eight months. Think of this wine like an Argentinian "pipeño" bright, pale, and dangerously easy to drink. On the nose are notes of rose petal, rooibos tea, and wild cherry, and the palate has just a hint of tannin, juicy cherry and cranberry, with a crisp, tart finish. Enjoy this with a slight chill.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2019 Criolla has moderate alcohol. The grapes were picked at 13% alcohol the second week of March, and they fermented in concrete eggs with 30% full clusters that were foot trodden and with indigenous yeasts. The élevage was in egg and lasted some eight months. This is quite in line with the 2018, with more freshness, quite floral and elegant. The palate reveals textured tannins and very good balance, with a dry finish. 4,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2019.

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Cara Sur

Cara Sur

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Cara Sur, South America
Cara Sur Owners of Cara Sur Winery Image

Cara Sur was formed in 2011 as a partnership between two couples inspired to revive ancestral vines and produce wines from traditional Argentine varietals. Sebastián Zuccardi and Marcela Manini teamed up with Nuria Año Gargiulo and Pancho Burgallo, an avid mountaineering couple who live in Barreal, in the Calingasta Valley of San Juan, north of Mendoza. They produce wines from 80 year old vines of Moscatel, Moscatel Negro, Bonarda Piedmontese, and Criolla Chica (the Argentine iteration of Pais). The vines are Parral trained, a ceiling-trellised system that provides shade and maximizes airflow. The vineyard sits alongside the Los Patos River on stony soil at 1500 meters above sea level. The Cara Sur wines are made in a tiny winery next to Pancho and Nuria’s home where they produce small quantities with minimal intervention. Sebastian and Marcela regularly make the trip north to work alongside Pancho and Nuria. The quartet are producing some of the most unique wines from one of the most underrated microclimates of Argentina. Cara Sur translates to South Face and refers to the more challenging approach to Cerro Mercedario one of Argentina’s tallest peaks, which can be seen from Barreal.

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San Juan Wine


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This very hot and arid region produces fine red wines from Bonarda, Syrah and Malbec and solid, fruity white wines from Pinot grigio, Viognier and Chardonnay.

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Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.

MIWMMCARCRI19C_2019 Item# 732154

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