Wines of Argentina: Bodega Diamandes

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DiamAndes_de_Uco_Gran_Reserva_2008On October 22 2014, Wines of Argentina hosted a tasting at Beverly Hills’ Peninsula Hotel to meet and learn from visiting producers, owners and winemakers.  The room was treated to an impressive selection of wines.

When the Bonnie family decided to leave France in 2005, Argentina came to mind as a new destination. Having once lived in the country briefly, Alfred-Alexandre, Michele Bonnie and their business partners purchased over 300 acres of land for their new wine venture in the renown Uco Valley. Their son and daughter-in-law joined the business, both having studied oenology in university. The Bonnies soon purchased more land in their homeland of France, and included more of the family. Now, the Argentine vineyard of Clos de Los Siete spans 2100 acres. They began producing vintages in 2007 at Bodega Diamandes, which combines the Spanish word for diamond, “diamante,” and the Andes.

The winery itself was developed in respect for the environment and to maximize natural resources. Electric lines were placed underground and the architecture was fashioned to fuse seemlessly with the beautiful landscape. Construction featured stones indigenous to the area and locally-sourced concrete. Large windows aim to minimize energy needed, but environmentally friendly LED lights are used when necessary.

A number of factors contribute to the high quality of wine produced by Diamandes. The vineyards sit almost 3/4 of a mile above sea level. The climate is dry, humidity low, and annual rainfall is usually less than a foot a year. The sandy-clay soil on the vineyard is especially conducive to Malbecs. Two Diamandes standouts feature the thoroughly Argentine Malbec grape. Perlita 2012 combines Malbec and Syrah grapes to create a full-bodied, smooth wine. It is aged for 10 months in 100% French oak. DiamAndes de Uco Gran Reserva 2008 is a Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon blend, aged for 24 months in 100% French oak.