Sunday, May 1, 2011

Durigutti Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza, Argentina is a desert... it's an extreme continental climate with earth-scorching hot summer days and winds that blow the dry soil to the four winds.

   In Lujan de Coyo DOC, an area within Mendoza, some would say that the most important aspect to their winemaking is not then the terroir, but rather the viticulturist. It is the decision on training, irrigation and canopy management... to the extent that I have hear winemakers talk about the difference in only a few degrees of aspect (the slope of the vineyard) as they calculate down to the minute just how much extra sunlight that few degrees will allow. These winemakers know their land, and they know how to make a rather harsh environment work for them. They know how to work with their land.

   Such is certainly the case with Hector Durigutti, who has spent more then 20 years in the industry, working his way around the world as a consultant. Now he and his brother Pablo have created a world class establishment in what some people would argue is some of the finest winemaking land in Mendoza: Familia Durigutti ( )

   Hector and Pablo state in their website that their overriding philosophy is that of "young eonologists involved in the joy of incorporating modern variants to the elaboration of wine". I cannot pretend to fully understand what that means, but I can definitely pick out a few key words: joy. Anytime I hear a winemaker talk about their joy, I know that I'm probably in for a treat. I genuinely believe that anyone who works hard at what they do, and do it with real joy, will be successful.

    But don't take my word for it~! Success has already come for the Durigutti brothers as Hector was awarded the oenology award by the Association of Argentinian Sommeliers in June 2009. Wine Spectator ( ) has listed several Durigutti vintages in their top 100 wines, including this 2008 Malbec as #74 and with 90 points. I unfortunately don't have this available in British Columbia, but in the USA this is running $15 USD per bottle and under - a Stunning Value.

2008 Durigutti Malbec
Agrelo, Lugan de Coyo DOC, Mendoza Province, Argentina
$15 USD (most states),    **** EXCELLENT VALUE ****
N/A in BC, available in limited quantities in Alberta
  • visual:   clean; fully intense black-garnet core with slightest cherry rim
  • nose:   clean; moderate+ to fully intense youthful aromas of red cherry, cherry blossom, red raspberry, light red currant, star anise (some will say asian spice) - almost licorice root, some light yet pungent dark florals like irises/dark rose
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate+ red cherry acids(slightly exuberant), moderate+ slightly chewy tannins, moderate+ alcohol, moderate+ (supple) body, moderate+ to fully intense youthful flavors mimicking the nose with emphasis on the cherry notes, fig compote and leathery end palate. Very good to excellent balance, excellent structure, medium+ length
  • conclusion:   drinking well now - I would still cellar for best results. Drink 2012-2015/18. Very good concentration of flavors and rich tannins well integrated
  • PAIRINGS:   great Malbec calls for great steak - a bit of acid in this wine so use steak with some fat or else finish with butter. The rich berry notes will play well off venison, as will the asian spice~!
Hector and Pablo Durigutti

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

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

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