Spent an enjoyable day at the Wines of Argentina tasting today, held at the home of cricket, Lords. Malbec rocks. It's official: Argentina is making a lot of very good Malbec, and it is beginning to perform with its white wines, too. Perhaps the highlight of the day, though, was the seminar on the effects of altitude on wine, which was presented first thing in the morning by Catena winemaker Mariela Molinari (pictured), in the Media bubble (the view from which is also pictured).
She explained that because Mendoza is on the side of the Andes, it can offer all five of the Winkler winemaking zones (ranging from chilly to hot) within a short distance of each other. This is an amazing viticultural 'tool'. We tasted five different wines, ranging from the 'low' altitude site (low is a relative term here) at 850 metres up to nearly 1600 metres for the higher sites. Interestingly, Catena are taking a scientific approach, looking at the twin effects of high altitude (lower temperatures and increased sunlight intensity) on the wines.
The seminar had some good scientific content (probably too much for some of the participants; perhaps not quite enough for nutters like me) and Mariela dealt well with a modestly hostile crowd of 30 - quite a few tough questions were asked, some with agendas. I'll write this up in detail soon.