Given the huge success of Malbec, Argentina can sometimes seem more familiar to us than it is. Whilst we are more likely to find a bottle of Malbec quicker than we can a bottle of English wine it’s easy to forget that it’s typically travelled more than 7,000 miles to get to us.
So this week we Skype’d Edgardo Stallocca from Siete Fincas for a virtual tasting with our team and he explained what makes his wines stand out from the sea of Malbec already on our shores.
"Before I set up Siete Fincas I was an Engineer, like my father. Then at the turn of the century I made my first Siete Fincas wines in homage to my Grandfather who started making wines in Mendoza 1904. We are a small producer making about 120,000 bottles per year and we harvest grapes from seven areas within the Uco Valley, Luján de Cuyo and Tupungato in Mendoza. Siete Fincas (seven lands) is named after this.
We farm about 30ha of vineyards that range from 500 to 1200 metres above sea level, some we own and some we manage under long term contracts. Their altitude is fundamental to the style of wines we produce: the highest vineyards give colour and acidity to the wines and the lower ones bring fruit and body.
We make about 80% red and 20% white wines: Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and some Torrontes."
Cabernet Franc? – that’s quite unusual for Argentina isn’t it?
"We are leading the way with our Cabernet Franc which as a stand-alone varietal is starting to really gain a following. It’s extremely popular in Argentina already as well as the USA. I believe that the natural characters of Cabernet Franc that are expressed when grown in Mendoza are best when allowed to shine through on their own which is why we produce a 100% Cab Franc. We don't over power it with oak, we use barrel aging to add structure to the wine without overshadowing the natural perfume and fruitiness of the grapes.
We’re about to release new vintages of our Siete Fincas Sauvignon Blanc: the 2017 is flinty and floral with a distinctive minerality that comes from the rocky, dry soils. And the next red will be our Siete Fincas Secreto Reserva 2014, it’s a Malbec heavy Bordeaux blend with a bit of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Petit Verdot just to spice things up."