HE SAYS: We made our first stop in Luján de Cuyo at Achaval-Ferrer, a boutique winery that has
View of the Andes Mountains at Achaval-Ferrer
garnered much acclaim. Argentinians Santiago Achával Becu and Manuel Ferrer Minetti have teamed up with Italian winemaker Robert Cipresso. They strive to craft wines of the highest quality that show off the grapes and terroir of the region. They ferment their wine in giant cement tanks and then age in oak barrels. I highly recommend visiting them if you go to Mendoza as their tour was one of the most informative I’ve ever had and their wines are truly wonderful. The tasting is free with the tour.
Achaval-Ferrer Tasting Line-up.
2008 Achaval Ferrer Quimera (Barrel sample)
– HE SAYS:A blend of Malbec, Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. The color was a quite pretty purple, but the tannin and oak in the wine mask the fruit right now. The ’08 vintage was marked with lots of rain in February, then nice weather through harvest in March and early April, so it will be interesting to see how the wine develops. Our guide mentioned the Quimera’s can be stored for up to 15 years.
SHE SAYS: This is a young and happy wine – pucker up, baby!
2006 Achaval Ferrer Quimera – HE SAYS: This blend has very good fruit flavors and medium tannins. The Quimera blend changes each year, depending on the quality of the individual varietals. The winery said it could age for up to 15 years because of it’s solid structure. 15+
SHE SAYS: Strong, friendly and warm – and if you’re still strong, friendly and warm in 15 years, we’ll talk.
2008 Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec (Barrel sample) – HE SAYS: Achaval Ferrer has three vineyards in Mendoza and thus makes three single vineyard wines to show off the terroir of each one. Mirador is the lowest of the three at 2,400 feet elevation. It lies along the West bank of the Tunuyan River in the Medrano region and has stony clay soil. This wine had only been in the barrel 6 months, and has another year to go. It is 100% Malbec and had an amazing deep purple color and violet nose. The wine was soft and approachable – very delicious. 15+
SHE SAYS: Simple & friendly.
2008 Achaval Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec (Barrel sample) – HE SAYS: Altamira is the highest of the three vineyards at 3,400 feet elevation. It’s from a vineyard in the La Consulta region of the Uco Valley, which is maybe 75 miles south of the bodega. The warm days and cool nights of the Uco Valley help the grapes develop thicker skins, which increases the aromas, body and tannins. This barrel sample also had been aging only 6 months and had another year to go. Also 100% Malbec, it was nice and smooth, with a touch of lemony acid to it. “Sexy and sensual” is how they appropriately describe it. 16+
SHE SAYS: You better be lookin’ at me when you say “sexy and sensual” big guy. This one is yummy, if a little tight.
2006 Achaval Ferrer Dolce – HE SAYS: This dessert wine is a Malbec that they harvest and then they let the grapes dry out to concentrate the sugars in raisin form. It was soft and very sensual, but also very intense. Just 16% alcohol, and not too sweet. All seven of us in the tasting room really loved this wine, which can age for 15 years. A truly unique and memorable wine. Unfortunately this wine is only available from the winery for about $40 for 500 ml, so it’s going to be difficult to track down. 17
SHE SAYS: Mmmmmm… you scrumptious thing, you. We brought home 2 bottles and if you want a sip, well, I have a long list of house chores for you and when you’re finished, you can have a glass of Dolce.
Visit online at www.achaval-ferrer.com