Wines of Argentina: Mendoza’s Nieto Senetiner, Gascon, Proemio

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mendoza-winesOn 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.

Mendoza, Argentina is known as a hub for some of the finest wines in the world. One Mendoza winery is Nieto Senetiner, which was originally founded by Italian immigrants in 1888. Eighty-one years later, the Nieto and Senetiner families bought the winery and expanded the winery’s capabilities. The property includes almost 1000 acres of vineyards over three distinct estates. Nieto Senetiner wines are available in over 15 countries worldwide. One of the winery’s standouts is its Don Nicanor Blend 2012. The Cabernet, Malbec, and Merlot blend offers notes of blackberry, mocha and dark chocolate.

Gascon Wines, opened in 1884 by Don Miguel Gascon of Aragon, Spain, is another Mendoza gem. Gascon successfully grew his winery to become the first winery in Argentina to produce a bold, purely Malbec wine. This winery in particular is proud to celebrate Malbec as a star, as opposed to just a supporting player. The Don Miguel Gascon Malbec 2013 features notes of blackberries, plums, spice, licorice, and mocha and features a long, smooth finish. The grapes are cold-soaked and then aged for seven months in oak. The Colosal 2012 is a Malbec featuring Bonarda, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It is aged for 15 months in French and American oak barrels. The Gascon wines are hand-harvested and hand-crushed.

Oenologist Marcelo Bocardo created Proemio Wines eleven years ago after purchasing a winery built in 1930. Proemio, which means prologue in Spanish, hand-picks all their grapes in Mendoza. Proemio prides itself on the volume, body, and structure of their wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011 is purely Cabernet, picked from the high-altitude Uco Valley. The wine is aged 12 months in French oak barrels. Notes of pepper are tasted, followed by sweetness. Malbec Reserve 2012 is 100% Malbec, and also aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. The purple Malbec is intense, and features notes of blackberries, violets and vanilla. It starts sweet, builds in intensity, and has a long finish.