Monday, September 6, 2010

6th International Wine Forum & Lunch at La Marchigiana

We arrived back at the resort around 11:30 and several of us decided to share a bottle of Argentine bubbly in the sitting room near the fire. It was 100% chardonnay with an Extra Brut dosage, making it sweeter than I prefer, but I noticed that many of their sparklings were like this. Apparently they sell almost 100% of the sparkling wine to their domestic market and export very little of it.

After only 5 hours of sleep, it was time to get ready and depart for the 6th International Wine Forum to which all of us had been invited to speak. Breakfast was at 7am, and we arrived in downtown Mendoza at the conference center around 8:30am for a 9am start. All of the presentations went well, but it ended up being a very long day as we didn’t finish until 7:30pm.

I did have a lovely lunch with Gonzalo at Restaurant La Marchiagiana downtown. It is famous for both Italian and Argentinean food, so I ordered a local dish of Cordero al Malbec con pure, which is lamb cooked in Malbec. I started with a salad made of local greens, which was excellent. The lamb was very tasty, but a bit tough.

Gonzalo asked me if I wanted to try a traditional wine from Argentina to go with the food. I asked him what he meant, and he said that the newer style is made for the export market, but that many older people prefer a style which is less fruity. Of course I was intrigued, so we ordered a half bottle of Bodega Lopez 2005 Rincon Famoso, which was an intriguing blend of sangiovese, merlot and malbec. It was the color of an older pinot noir – light garnet, with a nose and palate of dried fruit with a port-like taste. It reminded me of an old Reserva from Spain, with the slightly oxidized note that added complexity to the wine.

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