Saturday, July 23, 2011

Zorzal Reserve, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

The Mendoza region in Argentina is no longer a region known only to South Americans and sommeliers... people the world over are rapidly coming to know the region's name as being synonymous with great quality Malbec, and usually for a great price as well.

Tupungato Department
   But Mendoza is a huge region and with over 1200 wineries producing almost 2/3rds of Argentina's wine, people in the wine-industry are immersing themselves in the sub-regions of western Argentina where it boarders Chile and the Andes Mountains. One of these sub-regions calling for attention is Tupungato and the Valle de Uco.

   Within the Valle de Uco is a new winery with high hopes. Zorzal winery ( is the brain-child of Argentian wunderkinder winemakers Juan Pablo Michellini, his brother Maurizio and a small group of Calgarian investors. Zorzal books itself as being the highest elevation winery in all Mendoza at over 1300 metres. High elevation of course leads to the positive effects of cooler nights, greater differential in temperature between day and night and the (negative) possibility of  under-ripened fruit.

   But the fruit seem to be ripening just fine for Juan Pablo and Maurizio... Zorzal wines have been scoring very well in Argentina and around the world. At the 2010 Argentina wine awards, Zorzal wines were awarded a gold and bronze medal, as well as a trophy for their work with their Climax red blend. This came right on the heels of their showing at the Venus wine awards which saw them receiving both a gold medal and a double-gold. But it's not just South Americans taking note; the wine press was quite favorable in their review at the London Wine Festival 2011 as well.

   Founded in 2007, Zorzal winery is a symbol of the dynamic growth happening in Mendoza today. The Tupungato Department where the winery is located is a small place; small in area and small in population. Named for the famous volcano rising out of the Andes, the population of Tupungato grew by an astounding 27% from 1991 to 2001. Why such staggering growth?

Zorzal winery


   Winemakers from the world over are excited about the possiblities in this region, and investors are literally lining up to cash in. This entire department is over 1000m, with little organic material in the rocky soil and an average rainfall less then 200 mm per year. What does all this mean?? It means wine-country, and Zorzal winery is proving that.
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon - Malbec, Reserve
Zorzal estate winery, Tupungato, Mendoza
  • visual:   clear; fully intense bruised plum core with slightest cherry rim
  • nose:   clean; fully intense and youthful aromas of red and blue berries (red cherries, blueberries, slight black cherry, red raspberry and a hint of black raspberry), rich nuances of savory Mendoza herbs, light perfumed vanilla background
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate+ (red currant) acids, moderate+ to fully intense (green, grippy) tannins, moderate+ intense and youthful flavors that mimick the nose with prevelant red currant notes at the beginning and a distinct "Mendoza" savory herbaceousness and end notes of mocha and mild wintery spice. Medium+ body, Very good balance, Excellent structure, very good length
  • conclusion:   this is a wine for the cellar... I don't think this starts to peak until 5 or 6 years old and so I would drink 2014-2019
  • PAIRINGS:   once this wine has some age and is properly decanted, I would use this with lighter red meat dishes like coffee crusted CAB beef carpaccio with truffled aioli and grilled baguette
Zorzal winery

As always, I look forward to your comments and questions.

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


    1. visit us at
      You can purchase Zorzal wines online and try Zorzal Malbec and Cabernet.

    2. please ask before posting a link to a business website. I am happy to be supportive of my colleagues, but ask for consideration of my business as well.