RJ Vinedos Reunion Malbec 2018
RJ Vinedos is a family owned winery run by its founder, Raul Joffre, and his four daughters. The winery began in 1996 when Raul purchased a traditional cement tank winery in the Perdriel region of Lujan de Cuyo and a small vineyard in the Los Sauces region of the Uco Valley. They now have 60 hectares in the Uco Valley as well as holdings in Alto Agrelo and up north in the Calchaquíes de Cafayate Valley, la Salta. The vineyards are all sustainably farmed and no chemicals are used, in both the vineyards and the winery. The winemaker Mariano Cignoli has a minimalistic approach as he believes in letting the grapes have their own voice, and looks for purity of fruit with little intervention.
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.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.