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Clos de los Siete Red Blend 2014
Blend: 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 3 % Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1998, oenologist Michel Rolland and Jean-Michel Arcaute decided to go into business. The proposition involved Argentina - a country that offered space, the possibility to plant without restriction and the potential to produce a quality wine from fine soil at an excellent price.
Their arguments were strong enough to unite seven investors, who were themselves all wine-growers, to the remarkable viticulture project in the province of Mendoza: Catherine Péré-Vergé, owner of Château Monviel at Pomerol; Laurent Dassaut, owner at Saint-Emilion; Bertrand Otto, representative of La Compagnie Vinicole E. Rothschild; and Bertrand Cuvelier.
The new venture would be at Vistaflores, an estate covering 847 hectares of vineyards, in the commune of Tunuyan, a desert plain rapidly gaining international acclaim, located 80km south of the city of Mendoza. Divided into seven Bodegas, the group was named Clos de los Siete (Vineyard of the Seven) and is as ‘new world’ for the French as it’s possible to be.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
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.