Bordering Chile, the province of Neuquen in Argentina is still a relatively unexplored place for westerners.
Even Argentinians are newcomers to the region; the capital city of Neuquen (so named, as with the province, for the river Neuquen that runs through it) only had about 5000 citizens in the 1930's. Today that same city boasts over 285,000 people... a petroleum boom is one of the main reasons for the immense development in the region.
And newer still is the interest in viticulture in this area of Patagonia. Neuquen has a relatively arid climate (depending on the part one speaks of), and with it's elevation also has a fairly short growing season. Something certainly of concern if one wanted to grow Malbec as is done in the neighbouring region of Mendoza, but imminently suited to the growth of Pinot Noir. And this is exactly what the Canadian winemaker Pascal Marchand came here for.
The approach we have in Burgundy is the best way to reveal the expression of the different terroirs, and therefore in each one of these areas you make wines that express their originsWith the cooler climate that Neuquen has (in comparison to Mendoza) I can understand Pascal's drive to utilize techniques that suit the land. It would certainly seem that he has found that.
2008 Calafate Reserva Pinot Noir
Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina
Bodega Universo Austral
14% ABV, $17 CAD *** VERY GOOD VALUE ***
- visual: clean; light to moderate ruby core with cherry-brick rim
- nose: clean; moderately intense and developing aromas of red raspberry, light blackberry, old leather, light savory herbs, mild exotic spices, mild cocoa
|Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina|