quimera wineAchaval-Ferrer Quimera 2010, Mendoza, Argentina ($56.00)

One has come to expect good wines from Mendoza, Argentina.  High altitudes, poor alluvial soils,  low rainfall in a desert climate irrigated by  of the snowmelt  of Andes , fierce daytime heat and cold nights to make complex, deep and structured wines.

A winemaker’s chimera?  No, this is the reality for Achaval-Ferrer  winemakers Santiago Achaval  and Roberto Cipresso – The Wine Taylor, as the Italian-born  calls himself, and author of Vinosofia and Il romanzo dil Vino −  who have condensed the best of Mendoza’s terroirs into the recently released  Bordeaux-blend Achaval-Ferrer Quimera 2010.
quimera backlabel

Only 3,073 cases of 12 bottles each have been produced of the blend of low-yield old vines and vineyards  from Medrano, Lujan de Cuyo and Tupungato: Malbec, Cabernet Franc , Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, all hand-harvested  from vineyards between 3600 ft and 2400 ft.. You can actually see the provenance of the grapes and the altitude of the vineyards in the back label.

 After a primary fermentation in separate barrels, the blend spent  12 months in French oak barrels (40% new and 60% old) where it underwent malolactic fermentation. The result is a medium-bodied complex  and rich red wine elegantly layered with flavors of black cherry, raspberry, violets laced with after the rain wet earth, herbal tones, chocolate, pepper and spices.  Round tannins, a live acidity, a lingering finish  and an average 14.0% alcohol, make Quimera 2010; a  wine that can be enjoyed now with a wide range of foods,  and can be cellared for 10-20 years as well.

A  group of friends from Argentina and Italy, together since 1998, Santiago Achaval Becú, Manuel Ferrer Minetti, Marcelo Victoria y Diego Rosso and the Italians; Tiziano Siviero and Roberto Cipresso committed themselves to work on high quality and respect for the earth – for which Mendoza provides the optimal conditions. The result is in addition to Quimera, the superb wines labeled Finca Altamira, Finca Mirador, Finca Bella Vista and Malbec Mendoza.