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© John Farren

Meeting 381 - -"Wines from Argentina"

Friday 20th February 2015     Neville Hall, Waltham St Lawrence 

Speakers:  Duncan Ross accompanied by Stephanie Morton-Small  

       It is always a great delight to have Duncan Ross to talk to us. In one of our best tastings, the evening was made even better by having Stephanie Morton-Scott representing Finca Decero accompany him.
       Whilst we sipped the Finca Perdriel aperitif, Stephanie gave a presentation of the geography and vineyards of Mendoza.
       The two whites which followed were firstly, a Torrontes, generally accepted as the white grape of Argentina, and a Sauvignon Blanc. Both were from the Norton group as was the sparkler. Norton was founded in the late 19th century by Sir Edmund James Palmer Norton (1865-1944)a Devonshire Railway Engineer who married a local lass (Juana Suárez) and moved on to start his own wine business in 1895. It is now owned by Gernot Langes-Swarovski of Austrian Crystal Glass fame.
       The first red, the Passo Doble Masi Tupungato was very interesting because Masi had imported the passito style typical of the Veneto region of Italy. There was an even a more direct reference to it's Italian origins by the addition of Corvina grapes to the main Malbec base. Rich cherry, quite tannic and long. Another Norton, Finca Perdriel Merlot followed. Off dry, very alcoholic and drinking now.
       All of the remaining Reds were from Finca Decero. Firstly, a Cabernet Sauvignon. A surprisingly light nose did not equate to the very full damson fruit palate. Again very alcoholic, balanced with a clean long finish. By contrast, the Decero Malbec was a nasal stunner with cherry and violets rising out of the glass. The fruity palate was almost sweetish but with good tannins, this wine has years to go. The Decero Petit Verdot, like he Cabernet had a light nose but full plum fruit body.
       Finally we were presented with the Decero Amano (translated as 'by hand') the name reflects the multi-stage careful hand selection of the grapes A mixture of Malbec (55%), Cabernet(30%), Petit Verdot(4%) and Tannat (1%), the Amano was damson fruit and floral on the nose, well balanced and a clean long finish. A perfect finish to a superb tasting.
       Charlotte provided spicy, cheese and spinach empanadas as an early nibble. The main course was barbecued rib-eye steak - to further enhance our appreciation of which, Charlotte gave as a lecture on the anatomy of a cow!! Parmentier potatoes, turtle bean salad and avacado/sour cream mayonnaise accompanied it. The dessert was Leche apple pie.
Altogether one of the best evenings we have had.

The Wines
Aperitif: Finca Perdriel Extra Brut NV. Norton 13.12 7+
White Wines:

   (1) Finca la Colonia Torrontes 2014, Norton
6.78 7+
(2) Finca Perdriel Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Norton 10.06 7
Red Wines:

   (3) Passo Doble, Masi Tupungato 2012
9.81 7+
(4) Finca Perdriel Merlot 2009, Norton 10.06 7+
(5) Decero Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 10.66 8
(6) Decero Malbec 2012 10.66 8
(7) Decero Petit Verdot 2011 15.17 9
(8) Decero Amano 2010 27.43 8+