Clos de los Siete Red Blend 2016
Tasting the 2016 Clos de los Siete was a very pleasant surprise, further deepening our appreciation of the exceptional conditions oered by the wonderful Uco Valley. This atypical vintage, with its low temperatures and high rainfall, has produced a winewith intense aromatic expression and tremendous freshness on the palate. A vibrant ruby red colour, the elegant blend oersamazing aromas of blackberries and plums with spicy floral notes. On the palate, it is balanced and fresh with a pleasant aciditycharacteristic of the vintage, giving it an excellent capacity to age. Cabernet-Franc was once again included in blend and, eventhough it accounts for just 1%, adds an agreeable hint of spice to the palate.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Blackberries, blueberries, crushed violets, hot stones and dried herbs. Full-bodied with structured tannins, great acidity drive and a medium-chewy finish. A wine that really grows on you, as it exudes charm and finesse. Drink in 2022.
Yields were down in 2016, but the quality of this 650,000-bottle blend of mostly Malbec with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and (for the first time since 2011) Cabernet Franc is as good as ever. Floral, perfumed and subtle, with the balance and freshness of a cooler year, stylish and layered red fruits.
I also tasted the 2017 next to the 2016 Clos de Los Siete, and the difference was noticeable, as this 2016 was fresher and lighter. The varietal breakdown in this cooler year was 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, slightly higher in Malbec than in 2017. The wine is approachable, balanced and nicely crafted, produced in a nice-to-drink style with fine-grained, chalky tannins. I think there's a little more nuance and elegance here. 656,000 bottles produced.
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 Chateau 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.
With a winning combination of cool weather, high elevation and well-draining alluvial soils, it is no surprise that Mendoza’s Uco Valley is one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in Argentina. Healthy, easy-to-manage vines produce low yields of high-quality fruit, which in turn create flavorful, full-bodied wines with generous acidity.
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.