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Trumpeter: From the Steep Slopes of Mendoza
Another Hit by the Galante/Catena Team For Low Budget Americans
By Simone Diament


W hen Nicolás Catena decides to make wine, he does it with flair. Whether it is in his pyramid shaped Catena Zapata winery, or when he purchases traditional family-owned wineries such as Escorihuela Gascón or Felipe Rutini, founded in 1885.
La Rural, Rutini's flagship winery, joined the Catena group in 1994, contributing to the expensive Felipe Rutini labels, as well as to the more popular - and less expensive - wines, the traditional San Felipe, and its export label: Trumpeter ($8.99 in South Florida)
And guess who is partnering in the production of Trumpeter? José "Pepe"Galante the oenologist at Catena Zapata.
The growing conditions in Argentiná main wine region are ideal - a hot, dry and disease-free climate with a variety of soil types and altitudes for each type of grape.
The wines labeled Trumpeter are made from grapes planted in the high-altitude regions of Tungungato, at almost 4,000 feet above sea level, at La Rural, a winery with the latest winemaking technology.

Trumpeter Merlot 2002, Bodega La Rural, Tugungato.
Everything about this merlot is intense: its color, its nose of red fruit and its buttery yet smoky mouthfeel. Complex tastes of red fruit, raisins, spices and wood (from 12 months in 50% new American oak and 50% old French oak) develop along with chocolate and mint in this medium-bodied wine with pleasant tannins and a lingering finish. I highly recommend drinking this wine at 60F rather than at the sultry room temperatures of South Florida.

Trumpeter Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Maipú, Mendoza
You can almost taste the grapes from 24-old vineyards which are well-matured in slopes receiving plenty of sun during the day and cold at night. The wine displays a good berry fruit concentration, well-balanced tannins and complex flavors of cocoa and oak coming from the 9 months of barrel fermentation in 90% French oak and 10% of American oak.

Trumpeter Chardonnay 2002, Lujan Vineyard, Tupungato, Mendoza
A very nice creamy-textured wine aged 7 months in new French oak, with a bright yellowish tint, aromas of rich tropical fruit, citrus and pineapple balanced with good acidity and mellowed by vanilla hints of new French oak. This wine goes well with a wide range of foods: from grilled chicken to shell fish and cold soups.

Trumpeter Malbec/Syrah 2002, Tunpungato, Mendoza
A decidedly deeply colored wine with a licorice and plum aroma and spicy flavors of blackberry, cherry, raspberry, vanilla and pepper makes this blend of 50% Malbeck and 50% Syrah a good wine to have with grilled meats and grilled salmon. Syrah though is prone to oxidation faster than Malbec, so once you open the bottle, finish it.
To submit information and tips for this column, please e-mail to: editor@southfloridagourmet.com
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