Zuccardi Emma Bonarda 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2013 Emma Zuccardi Bonarda is 50% grapes from Altamira, 40% from a 1,400-meter altitude parcel planted in 1992 in San José in Tupungato and the rest from the traditional, old pergola in Santa Rosa. It's all fermented in concrete with only 5% of the wine going into used oak barrels. Quite dark-colored, it has earthy aromas and a clear Bonarda rusticity (tree bark). What is different here is the electric freshness in the palate. With a little bit of time it even develops flowery aromas and turns a lot more elegant. This is an unbelievable elegant Bonarda.
A few years before 1950, Ing. Alberto Zuccardi reaches Mendoza from his homeland in Tucuman where their great-grandparents had settled upon arriving in the Italian region of AveIino. In 1963, Alberto implanted a vineyard in the region of Maipu not knowing that it would begin the great passion of his life, the wine industry. In 1990, his son, Jose Alberto Zuccardi, assumed the General Director of the company.
In 2005, Sebastian Zuccardi, third generation of the family, lead the development of the new stage of the wines of the winery expansion into the Uco Valley. On his initiative, since 2008 the winery has an area of Research and Development dedicated to the study of the terroir and the different variables that affect wine production. In 2013 the construction of the new Zuccardi winery in the Uco Valley began. It opened in March 2016 with the premise of producing wines with identity, through the continuous exploration of the different terroirs of the Uco Valley.
The Zuccardi family’s approach to sustainability starts with the environment and people before any product. They’re dedicated to producing the highest quality wines through sustainable practices such as a focus on nurturing biodiversity, organic farming, efficient irrigation practices, composting, water treatment, comprehensive waste and recycling efforts, and the use of solar energy. The winery itself is designed to be naturally energy efficient by maximizing natural light and minimizing electricity consumption. Its concrete walls fulfill the function of a thermal insulator, the movements of liquid are caused by gravity and the concrete-designed vessels allow for a natural control of the temperature of the wine. As a third generation family-owned winery, the Zuccardi’s take seriously their responsibility to protect the environment, support the land, the farmers and uplift the local community. Through building schools, offering free education, fostering equality, banning child labor, and subsidizing health care, they’re not only elevating their wines and the Uco Valley as a world class wine region, but also giving the people who have contributed to their success a path forward and upward mobility for their own families.
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.
Bonarda is a name given to a handful of distinct grape varieties, mainly growing in Italy and in Argentina. In Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese and Emilia Romagna’s Colli Piacentini zones, the grape called Bonarda is actually Croatina. In Novara, Bonarda Novarese, often blended with Spanna (Nebbiolo), is actually Uva Rara. DNA profiling shows that most of the Bonarda in Argentina is actually identical to California’s Charbono—and Charbono is actually the Douce Noire grape from Savoie. Somm Secret—Bonarda Piemontese, an aromatic variety, is the only true Bonarda. Before phylloxera, it covered 30% of Piedmontese vineyard acreage.