Roberto Luka founded his dream winery in 1997 after spending many years as a wine exporter and marketer of Argentinean wines. He spared no expense when he founded his winery – a state of the art winemaking facility, prime vineyards, and a top notch winemaking team formed a strong foundation that remains intact today. The winery released their first wines in 2004 and praise and good press have followed close behind.
We plan to sample seven of the estate’s wines for this Friday Winedown on March 9 from 4 to 7 p.m., but the distributor we purchase the wines from might be out of a few. Don’t worry, we’ll make suitable replacements if need be. The cost for the tasting is $5/person or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut. Here is the lineup:
1. Altosur Sauvignon Blanc – Altosur is the Finca Sophenia’s entry-level line of wines and from top to bottom, they offer a lot of wine for not much money. Their Sauvignon Blanc is textbook, with bright, tangy aromas and flavors of melon, lemon/lime and grapefruit.
2. Finca Sophenia Chardonnay Reserve – This is what I wish more Chardonnays tasted like! Partial fermentation in oak combined with partial fermentation in stainless steel results in a wine with a clear sense of pure Chardonnay fruit and just a hint of toasty oak. Ripe apple, pear and citrus can be clearly detected in the nose and palate of this lovely wine.
3. Altosur Malbec – This is the best value Malbec we carry in the store. It’s less than $10, but it tastes like many of the Malbecs that sell for $15+ with soft tannins, a nice mix of blueberry and blackberry fruit and a touch of spicy oak.
4. Altosur Cabernet Sauvignon – Like the Altosur Malbec, this is a really classy wine for under $10. Most Cabs at this price point are junk, but not this one with classic Cabernet notes of cassis, blackberry, mint and pepper.
5. Finca Sophenia Malbec Reserve – We’re moving up a notch here, as the estate uses higher altitude, higher quality fruit for the “construction” of their reserve wines. The result in this case is a Malbec with tremendous depth and balance with notes of ripe plum, blueberry, spice and high quality toasty oak notes.
6. Finca Sophenia Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – Sophenia’s high altitude vineyards produce grapes and resulting wines with plenty of fruit concentration, but plenty of tannin/acid to balance this out. This is beautiful Cab with ripe cherry and black cherry fruit framed by ample toasty oak notes.
7. Finca Sophenia Synthesis “The Blend” – This is the winery’s top red wine and it is one of Argentina’s most awarded red wines, but costs a lot less than many upper echelon wines. It is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that is powerful and brooding, but at the same time elegant and drinkable. Bold notes of blackberry and blueberry are met by cedar, spicebox and chocolaty oak notes………..need I say more?