Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2011


Brand: Terrazas de los Andes was founded in 1999. In addition to owning multiple vineyards throughout Mendoza, it is the largest landowner in Vistalba, the premium Malbec producing area in Mendoza. Terrazas de los Andes is a brand of the family run, French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH [Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE]. LMVH “strives to ensure the long-term development of each of its Houses in keeping with their identity, their heritage and their expertise”.

Winemaking: The vineyards are sustainably farmed; natural irrigation is employed which utilizes melted snow from the Andes Mountains. 100% of the water used is recycled. Grapes were sourced from terraced vineyards located 3500 feet above sea level. Aged 12 months in oak [80% French, 20% American], with 30% new oak. The Reserva line is hand harvested and crafted to “stand out for their aromatic intensity and complex style”.

Tasting Notes: Inky red violet in colour with exuberant aromas of tart red fruit, black pepper, and hints of funky earth along with subtle campfire smoke. Soft cherry and blackberry flavours are buoyed by firm tannins and engaging layers of repeating flavours [earth, peppery spices, chocolate, toasted oak and smoke] Fruit and chili-spiced dark chocolate on the lengthy finish keep you reaching for more.

100% Malbec
Produced & Bottled by Terrazas de los Andes
14% Alcohol
$19 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2017

Interested in giving it a pour? Check it out at Wine Chateau

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Lancatay Andean Foothills Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


Estate: Located in the Andean foothills, the estate’s name Huarpe was chosen in honor of the peaceful native inhabitants of Mendoza. Family owned, the Toso family has a winemaking tradition in Mendoza that dates back over 100 years. Today the estate is run by “worldwide-trained oenologist” José Hernández Toso along with his brother Maximiliano Hernández Toso, who manages the commercial operations of the winery.

Philosophy: In addition to paying “obsessive attention to each detail” in order to always learn new things with each year, the family seeks “to bring together state of the art winemaking knowledge with the age-old traditions we have inherited from our family”.

Winemaking: Passionate about their heritage and distinctive terrrior, the family practice sustainable viticulture, collect meltwater from the Andes for vine irrigation and use recycled materials in their packaging and merchandising. Cabernet grapes were sourced from vineyards 3,250 feet above sea level located in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. Fermentation was done in stainless steel tanks, the wine was left unfiltered and unfined, and then one-third aged in French and American oak barrels for 4 months.

Tasting Notes: Brick red in colour with aromas of spiced fruit and toasted oak. Cherry and black currant blended with chocolate notes and were offset by slightly bitter tannins, whilst black pepper, dry leaves and toasted oak hints comprised the lengthy finish.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Grown, Produced and Bottled by Huarpe Wines [Estate Bottled]
14% Alcohol
$10 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2016

Orin Swift Locations AR2 Red NV



Easy drinking and engaging, this is a well-composed glass fantastic for sipping on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

Label: Locations is a label of winemaker David Phinney, founder of Orin Swift Cellars [Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name]. Today the company has grown into an international brand that includes 300 acres in southwest France yet still remains a small, “passionate team of friends and family dedicated to making great wine”. Phinney was inspired to create the ‘Locations’ label whilst standing on a curb waiting for a taxi at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris; correspondingly, the European country code car stickers are used for the labels. Priced to be budget friendly, there are currently bottles from Spain [E], Italy [I], France [F], California [CA] and Argentina [AR].

Philosophy: To create a wine that combines the best grape varietals from great “locations” throughout Europe.

Winemaking: Sourced from vineyards with “drip system blocks on estate land” at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina. Aged in new French oak.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of dried rose, cherry jam and coffee. Silky smooth and well balanced with juicy black currant and cherry flavours in the full body supported by silky smooth tannins, cigar box spice, chocolate and fresh coffee hints in the lengthy finish.

Winemaker’s blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat [I could not verify varietal percentages]
Bottled by Locations R.E. 40.869-HU-ES
14.5% Alcohol
18$ [average price]
Enjoy now


Teatro Act II Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Fresh, fruity and fantastically smooth, this is a superb value and an inviting opportunity to enjoy an unoaked Cabernet.

Winery: Teatro Act II is a label of Latinfina S. A., an Argentinian firm headed Eduardo Lapania. The company focuses on sourcing only estate grown grapes and “maintaining strict quality controls over the final products”.

Tasting Notes: Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of blackberry, chocolate and hints of green olive. Jammy cherry and blackberry flavours guided in smooth tannins and hints of black peppercorn and rich black currant notes on the compact finish.

Cabernet Sauvignon [I could not verify varietal percentage.]
Produced and Bottled by Latinafina S.A.
14% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Astica Malbec 2012

Although wildly popular in the States, I’m not the hugest fan of Argentinean Malbec. There have been some that I enjoyed and others that I thought were rather bleak. I realize that this is mostly just my personal taste, but it does cause me to purchase it infrequently as there are so many other bottles I would rather give a pour to. However, since I’m seemingly always on a tight budget, when I caught site of Astica Malbec 2012 with its friendly, modern looking label for $5, I thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. Astica is a value label under the Trapiche umbrella, Argentina’s largest producer and exporter of wine. Trapiche was founded in 1883 and is located in Mendoza. The grapes were sourced from the Cuyo Valley and vinified in a fruit-forward style.

Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of autumn leaves and sweet berries. Tart red currant and blackberry flavours joined smooth dry tannins in the light to medium body, whilst bitter earth and tobacco elements comprised the brief finish. Although a little flat for my personal taste, this is a simple well constructed mix of sweet fruit and dry tannins, overall a competent companion at the table and a good value.

100% Malbec
Produced and Bottled by Astica
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2014