WEEKLY FLIGHT 8/18 through 8/20/2022 - ARGENTINA!

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WEEKLY FLIGHT 8/18 through 8/20/2022 - ARGENTINA!

- Argentina -
Not Just Your Predictable Malbec...
This week we are branching out and offering something different in an effort to continue to move forward the proverbial wine journey. Read: Argentina.
In today's modern wine world, Argentina has more to offer than just your typical glass of impenetrable Malbec. There has been (and continues to be formidable (local and global) investment in the regino - with more sustainable farming practices and now multi-generational families that continue to lead by example. So we felt, it was deserved of anther hard look... and a weekend showcase of some popular, but some less obvious characters.
The Argentinian wines we have selected are unique expressions of varietals that are heavily influenced by Old-World winemaking, and local on-the-ground expertise.
Here is what you can expect:
  • Mountain vineyard Chardonnay from the iconic Catena Zapata:
  • Under family ownership since it's inception in 1902, yes, a lot longer than you might have thought...
  • Red Blend from Michel Rolland- famed Bordeaux wine oenologist:
  • 4 bodegas run by four Bordeaux families that saw the potential in Argentina back in the late 1980s. Like Rolland or not, he's a global tastemaker...
  • Single Vineyard Bonarda (aka as Charbono in CA; Douce Noir in France):
  • Winemaker Alejandro Virgil is the former head of the soil division at Argentina’s Wine Institute, and spent years as Head Winemaker at Bodega Catena Zapata - but I suspect a grape you've never tasted or perhaps even heard of...
  • An exemplary Malbec from Zuccardi that shows Malbec's true potential:
  • Zuccardi Valle de Uco is one of Argentina’s most renowned bodegas that is still a family enterprise run by the second and third generations - A very expressive example that doesn't fall flabby with concentration like many...
I hope you can join us in the tasting room this week as we feature 3 reds and a Chardonnay that bring plenty of value to the table considering their history, Old-World influence, and laser focused expressions from both Mendoza and the Valle de Uco.
Read on for more details and we hope to see you soon!
The flight starts tonight!
Salud & be well -
Stewards for your wine journey℠
See below for our August & September Calendar of Events
---> Only a few seats left <---
  • Saturday, August 27th at 3:00PM
  • 90 minute class lead by Mark Meissner
  • Topics include:
  • Understanding Wine as a Place
  • Geographic Wine Primer
  • The Champagne Method
  • Three Wines to Taste
SCRIBE - Winemaker Dinner
featuring a property that pioneered pre-prohibition Sonoma Valley winemaking
  • Thursday, September 8th
  • 4-course repast, Dressler's Metropolitan
  • Tickets to be released soon - reach out for pre-reservations
KRUPP BROS Winery - Private Tasting
featuring single vineyards at the foot of the Vaca Mountains just off the Silverado Trail
  • Wednesday, September 14th
  • Hosted here at Petit Philippe
  • Additional details coming soon, mark the date!
MIURA Vineyards - Winemaker Visit with Emmanuel Kemiji
featuring Pinot Noir & Chardonnay from the finest vineyards California has to offer
  • Wednesday, September 21st at 6:00PM
  • More information to be announced soon
Stay up to date with our latest offerings on Instagram and Facebook!
Join us Wednesday through Saturday for a flight of four wines from Argentina:
Catena Alta Historic Rows Chardonnay 2019 - $40 btl/retail
Mendoza, Argentina
Clos de los Siete Red Blend 2019 - $29 btl/retail
El Enemigo 'El Barranco' Single Vineyard Bonarda 2017 - $24 btl/retail
Zuccardi 'José Zuccardi' Malbec 2017 - $50 btl/retail
Full Flight of 4 - $20 (2.5oz pours)
4:00 - 6:30pm Wednesday
4:00 - 7:30pm Thursday - Friday
1:00 - 7:30pm Saturday
Argentina Primer:
The Jesuit missionaries brought cuttings mainly from Spain’s Canary Islands due to the need to produce wine for Mass. These early varieties on the continent soon bred native varieties, which led to a big family of Criolla varieties
Wine production remained completely artisanal in Argentina for almost three centuries after the Spanish missionaries planted the first vines. The first industrial wineries were founded in the early 19th century following independence.
Progress was stagnant until the arrival of European immigrants during the 19th century. The outbreak of phylloxera which destroyed vineyards throughout the European continent during the latter half of the 19th century, as well as the political instability at the outbreak of WW1, were the major push factors which drove European immigrants to try their luck in the New World.
Perhaps the most famous European to have impacted the Argentinean winemaking industry is the French agricultural engineer Michel Aimé Pouget. Pouget was hired by the national Argentinean government to develop and expand the winemaking industry as a viticulture specialist. This important event is celebrated every year with what is now known as World Malbec Day on April 17th.
Pouget founded the first agricultural school and vine nursery in Argentina in Mendoza and he introduced French grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec. These grapes adapted very well to the terroir and produced wines of more concentration and better quality wine than the Criolla varieties.
Malbec, or la uva francesa as it was known, began to grow significantly in number and importance in Argentina.
Major factor which facilitated the development of the Argentinean winemaking industry was the arrival of the Transandine Railway in Mendoza in 1885. The railway allowed wines to be exported from Mendoza to the greater market of Buenos Aires. The much bigger demand led to a much greater supply and vineyards were planted at a rapid rate.
Until the end of the 20th century, Argentinean wineries produced large quantities of low-quality wines destined for the domestic market. Winemakers understood that it was not worth investing in the time and equipment to produce top-quality wines because high-end consumers preferred imported fine wines and the majority of domestic consumption was of table wines.
Argentina started to follow in Chile’s footsteps in looking outwards to the wine world in the 1990s as the value of the peso was pegged to the dollar which introduced much more free trade and helped develop the Argentinean industries (wineries included!)
Wineries in Argentina, and largely Mendoza, saw a glimmering opportunity to start to offer wine tourism as more people traveled through since the 2000s. Today Mendoza is a major wine capital in the world, and wine tourism is a significant part of the business model
Mendoza’s wineries received over 1.1 million visitors pre-pandemic, 36% of whom were foreigners. Four in every 10 wine tourists are Brazilian (which is one of Argentina’s most important export markets), followed by North American and English visitors.
See you this week!! Here's the lineup:
Catena Alta Historic Rows Chardonnay 2019
$40.00 (purchase it online here)
The '19 Chardonnay from Catena Alta originates from 2 vineyards: Adrianna at 5000ft of elevation provides a purity of flavors and a minerality that cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance. 
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay. Whole clusters are pressed, and then 100% fermented in 500 L French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures. Wild yeasts. Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First, second and third use barrels used.
Taste: Greenish-yellow color in the glass with a nose that offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and white peach that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as honeysuckle and jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. Full-bodied, bright and fruity with a fascinating undertone of spice and cream. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.
Clos de los Siete Red Blend 2019
$29.00 (purchase it online here)
Clos de los Siete is the ultimate blend crafted by world renowned Master Blender, Michel Rolland. Michel discovered a special plot of land in Argentina, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Uco Valley. Exceptional finesse & concentration are evident from this harvest that some have described as the best in 30 years.
Varietal: 55% Malbec, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot , 2% Cabernet Franc. 75% of the wine matured in 225-liter French barriques for 11 months
Taste:  Deep red color with glints of ruby in the glass with a nose characterized by complex aromatic expression with scents of dark fruit, blackberries and blueberries, lavender and floral notes accompanied by delicate hints of spice & roasted coffee beans. The palate is generous, silky and full-bodied. The blend presents a remarkable balance between well-rounded tannins, intense fruit, and good concentration. This wine has a characteristic freshness and beautiful length on the palate. Lingering crushed-hazelnut notes on a long, concentrated finish.
El Enemigo 'El Barranco Vineyard' Bonarda 2017
$24.00 (purchase it online here)
El Enemigo is a partnership between Adrianna Zapata & Alejandro Vigil that showcases both of their intense passion for the Mendoza soil and expressing the varietals true character. Bonarda is similar to Charbono and provides a juicy acidity, and a smooth, low-tannin finish. Think of an exotic Merlot from Argentina!
Varietal: 100% Bonarda from grapes sourced from a single vineyard in the Junín area of Mendoza. Carbonic maceration on 40% of the fruit. Aged for 12 months in 100-year-old foudre.
Taste: An elegant nose complement the dark ruby color in the glass. On the nose black currant, dark plum and berry aromas combine with floral hints and notes of herbs for an elegant nose. The depth and intensity of fruit flavors are impressive for a Bonarda- it shows dried berries, wet earth and black leather. Full bodied and with a light creamy tannins. Hints of nutmeg and slate on the finish are accented by red licorice.
Zuccardi 'José Zuccardi' Malbec 2017
$50.00 (purchase it online here)
Hailed by critics as the best ever bottling of José Zuccardi Malbec, the 2017 vintage shows beautiful polish and finesse that complements the dark and delicious fruit. Mountain sourced fruit from the Valle de Uco vineyards have more abundant calcerous deposits and yield as a result fine tannins & a flavorful finish.
Varietal: 95% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from Altamira and Gualtallary Vineyards in the Valle de Uco. Aged in concrete & foudre for 12 months.
Taste: Intense red black in the glass with a complex in nose that highlights ripe black and red fruit aromas with subtle spicy notes. On the palate, raspberry, red currant and red cherry flavors are pronounced and backed by crisp acidity. The Cabernet addition also yield some balsamic, bay leaf, and minty notes. Firm and mature tannins give structure to the wine and it remains fresh and elegant due to its great acidity. The finish is long & flavorful with some chalky texture.
__ Did You Know? __
Source: INSEEC Wine & Spirits Institute