Monteza - Tupun Winery
2004 Reserva Malbec
What We Say
COVERT SAVINGS ALERT!
Today’s wine is offered at 25% off, but if you order six bottles or more, we’ll save you even more by throwing in Free Ground Shipping – but only if you enter coupon code MALBECSPY.
Mission Codename: The Argentine Equation
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to Operative requests for an authentic Argentine Malbec. Find a great one, and procure an ample supply for our demanding Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Monteza – Tupun Winery
Wine Subject: 2004 Reserva Malbec
Winemaker: Gabriel Braconi
One of the six component varietals that go into a true French Bordeaux wine, Malbec (named for the Hungarian peasant who first brought the grape to France) is a thin-skinned grape that requires more time to mature than its Bordeaux brethren, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In America, where very little Malbec is grown, the wine is often used as a minority component of Meritage blends. Argentina is, perhaps, best-known for producing exceptional examples of the varietal.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet with fine ruby edges, fast-moving with thick and tightly-packed legs that take a long time to emerge before they finally crawl down the glass.
Smell – Fresh violets and clean potting soil lead off, followed by jammy plum, ripe raspberry and raisin with soft leather and a hint of white pepper and mocha.
Feel – Warm, bright and light up front, then dry and grippy at the mid-palate with medium tannic structure with a round mouthfeel.
Taste – Bright and big fleshy fruit flavors of cassis, plum and dark cherry, with solid but not harsh oak, followed by hints of toasted oak, leather, mild tobacco and dark cherry and mocha.
Finish – A long finish with solid fruit, lingering toasted oak, a slight smokiness and a mild minerality.
Conclusion – This well-balanced Malbec is simultaneously serious and somewhat light-hearted. While it presents subtly on the nose, its bold flavors and medium acidity make for plenty-flavorful drinking. On the finish, great secondary flavors of fruit and smoked cherry emerge. This wine will pair well with most foods and will not overpower as some bigger Bordeaux varietals may tend to do.
The cover of the most recent issue of Wine Enthusiast declared that Malbec is a “Lusty big red from around the world”. And around the world is right. originally planted in France and one of the six approved grapes included in Bordeaux its most famous French rendition comes from Cahors. Also grown in California to a lesser extent.
But it is in Argentina that Malbec is king, known as the country’s signature grape. While prices for French and other imports have fluctuated wildly with the fall (and now rise) in the value of the green-back, Argentina’s currency is pegged to the US dollar making Argentine Malbec an exceptional value.
Most of (about 80%) Argentina’s 70,000 acres of Malbec is grown in the Mendoza region which lies to the far west of the country in the foothills of the Andes. And as all good Wine Spies know, higher elevation, good soil and aspect and an ideal climate produces exceptional fruit.
For today’s selection, The Wine Spies engaged the services of a new asset, we’ll call him Agent P, to secure an exclusive allocation of an exceptional value reserve Malbec. Agent P returned with an marvelous, in both price and quality, Malbec from Monteza, a label produced by the Tupun Winery. Tupon Winery is located near the village of La Arboleda and Tupungato, about 60 miles south in the Uca Valley. Its vineyards are blessed with light rainfall, a mild climate and an elevation between 2300 and 4600 feet.
If you love big lusty reds, then this Malbec is right up your alley. Not only is this wine truly representaitive of the Mendoza region, The Wine Spies have secured the only online allocaiton in the United States. At this quality-to-price-ration (QPR), this is a wine to stock up on. But if you ask Agent P, even if you stock up on it, it won’t last very long. Wines like this have a funny way of being drunk all too fast!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Tupungato in the Mendoza region can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Deep with bright red-violet colors. This Malbec has a fine and elegant nose, a perfect mix of red fruits and spices, enriched by the virtues of the oak. Sweet palate, with tannins that delivers a unique structure, resulting in a long and exciting finish.
About The Winery:
Tupun Winery – Located in the District of El Peral, in the famous town of Tupungato, Mendoza, the Tupun Winery dates back to the 1920’s and was acquired by the Peregrina Family in the early 1950’s. Manuel Peregrina Sr. immigrated from Andalucia, Spain in 1950 to Tupungato, Mendoza and bought the Tupun Winery. Working solely as grape-growers for 45 years, in 1994 the Tupun Winery began to focus their efforts in producing their own high quality wines by limiting crop yields through careful vine management. With the commitment set to produce superior quality estate wines, the production was reduce by two-thirds and in 1995 bottled their first vintage.
Now in their 3rd generation as a family owned and operated winery, in 2002 the Peregrina Family teamed up with a New Zealand exporting company established in Buenos Aires who sources and labels the wines produced by the winery and exports it under the MONTEZA Wines brand.
Tupungato (Too-poon-gahtoh) – The city of Tupungato, Mendoza is located 60 miles south from the capital city of Mendoza, in the Uco Valley (Mendoza’s highest viticulture region). Officially founded in 1858, Tupungato was originally settled by a Jesuit Religious Congregation in 1612, where during this era the first agricultural plantations of grapevines were established.
As a beautiful backdrop to the town and winery, the Volcano “El Tupungato” is the highest mountain peak of the Andes Mountains south of the Aconcagua. It peaks at 22,310 feet above sea level and the name “El Tupungato” means “Star-gazer” in the indigenous language of the Huarpe Indians.
Gabriel Braconi – Born in Bahia Blanca, Argentina on June 30th 1964, grandson to Italian immigrants (who were involved in the wine industry in Italy), Gabriel moved to Mendoza in 1984. He began studying the career of Enology in the University Don Bosco, he graduated with Honors in 1988, and was awarded a scholarship to work for Moet Chandon Argentina, where he endeavored in several projects for the French company.
In 1990, he began working as Assistant Winemaker for Luigi Bosca, then moved on to Bodega Santa Ana (winery belonging to the Peñaflor Group, which also owns “Trapiche Winery”). In 2003, he took the position of Head Winemaker for Bodegas Nieto Senetiner, a very well know winery in the Uco Valley of Mendoza. After two years as Head Winemaker, in 2005, Gabriel decided to start his own project called “Atipax,” which led him to the position of Chief Winemaker for Bodega del Tupun.
All the wines he has made in all the wineries he has been through, have won national (Argentina) and International awards. Gabriel has made a name for himself in his field of work and has the most highly admirations from his peers and colleagues.
Because our vineyards are in Tupungato, which is in a cooler region, it generally needs a couple of more weeks than the rest of Mendoza to mature properly, so our white grapes (Viognier, Ugni Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Torrontés) harvest approximately the first week of MARCH and reds (Malbec, Cab-Sauv, Bonarda, Merlot, Pinot Nior) mid April. Remember Argentina is in the southern hemisphere and the seasons are at opposite with that of California.
Our harvest is all manual (we do not do mechanical harvesting) with a traditional style of harvesting, mainly picking the grapes and collecting them into small plastic container of 10 kg capacity. Then we sort them and remove the few grapes that are not considered to our standard of high quality.
APPELATION: EL PERAL (VINEYARD), TUPUNGATO (CITY), MENDOZA (PROVINCE), ARGENTINA
ALTITUDE: 4,000 FT ABOVE SEA LEVEL
VARIETAL: 100% MALBEC
YIELD PER HECTARE: 80 Quintal/HA (Conversion yield per acre: 20 tons/acre)
AGING: 12 MONTHS IN NEW FRENCH OAK
TOTAL ACIDITY: 5.32g/liter
BOTTLED: JANUARY 29, 2006
PRODUCTION: 14,400 BOTTLES (1,200 CASES)