Sunday, March 27, 2011

Las Perdices Cabernet Sauvignon, Lujan de Cuyo DOC, Argentina

There was once a joke in the wine industry that "It is the duty of all wines to be: red".

   Being a red wine drinker, I certainly have felt like that from time to time, but I am more inclined to follow the new adage that: "It is the duty of all wine to express terroir". Terroir: that inexplicably French term meaning the soil of a specific region, the wind, the quality of sunlight, the very energy of the people and how all of that translates into flavor of the grape.

   It is the duty of all wine to express where they are from; the land from whence it is grown, the tang of seasalt on the wind as it brushes the vineyards, the soft blanket of sunlight holding the grapes as they work their magic and transform from acidic berries to lush flavor bombs. It is the duty of wine to tell a tale of the people who worked the vineyards and toiled through the fermentation and maturation process. It's alot to ask from a bottle of wine, but is it too much to ask?

   In the early 1950's, Juan Munoz Lopez left Spain to begin a new life in Argentina. As I've said many times before (and will no doubt say many times again) I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who forges out on their own and begins their own something. Build a winery, open a car-repair shop, start a cupcake business - I think you are absolutely brave.

   I imagine it must have been difficult for Juan leaving friends and family and moving to the other side of the world. He must have felt quite alone as he walked through the fields of his new vineyard, his new life, and was trying to decide whether or not he had made "the right move". When along comes a partridge...

   Sounds like the opening line of a joke right? But no, seriously, Juan was walking the vineyards and was genuinely surprised by the number of wild partridges on his property. He asked his neighbours and they said that the partridges had always been there, and so the wild birds became constant companions on Juan's walks through the vineyards. It's easy to understand, then, how the vineyard became "Las Perdices" (The Partridges) rather then Domaine Juan Lopez... after all, hadn't the partridges been there first?

equipment at Las Perdices

   Juan's two sons now run the winery, and are developing a portfolio with international standing and respect. They have developed their skills and infrastructure to be able to allow the nuances of the grape to show through - even though their production has now reached a capacity of 900,000 Litres. They still use manual labor to pick the grapes, the grapes go through a sorting process not once, but twice, and the winery has invested in French and American oak barrels of the highest quality.

   It says alot, about this family's beliefs in quality above quantity, and striving every day to allow their wines to express themselves as completely as possible.

Las Perdices 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
(the town of) Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo DOC, Mendoza, Argentina
14.5% ABV, $18 CAD  
90+ points, **Good Value**

ALTITUDE         1,030 meters above sea level
SOIL                    Alluvial origin, loam-lime, medium depth, supported by a layer of gravel.
MATURATION   aged for 6 months in French and American oak (new and used)
  • visual:   clean; deep plum-garnet core with slight cherry rim (little brick)
  • nose:   clean; moderate+ intense youthful aromas of red raspberries, red cherries, old leather, light vanilla, rich floral notes, black pepper on the end
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate+ (red currant) acids, moderate+ (slightly chalky and grippy) tannins, moderate+ alcohol, moderate body, moderately intense and youthful flavors of red raspberries and cherries, red currants, old leather, light notes of rich earth, slightly blackcurrant (cassis) finish. Very good balance and structure, medium length on palate
  • conclusion:   Good value for the money, this wine will hold in the cellar to 2013 certainly. It's a well balanced wine but doesn't have alot of personal expression in it - still - much more then one would find for the same price from other regions
  • PAIRINGS:   Good Cab-Sauv calls for good beef - try this with your roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, pot roast with crispy parsnips, or even just a well made burger~!

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing about Las Perdices. We chose to import the wines from the Lopez family because we really love the story and the family, as well as the wines. They are making fantastic wines and are great people. We are very passionate about this wine and the great value people will get when they purchase this wine. To find out all the locations where you can get the Las Perdices wines, please visit our website at