Over the weekend, I opened a bottle of Achával-Ferrer 's 2002 Finca Altamira Malbec (among other things), and it gave me a chance to reflect a little bit. When the wine was first released, I rated it 94 points (Nov.
A number of Chilean wineries have been drawn to invest in Argentina, including Viña Montes ( Kaiken ), Concha y Toro ( TriVento ) and Viña Santa Rita ( Viña Dona Paula ). But up until now, no one has gone the other way, from Argentina to Chile.
We've all heard the news about how wine is growing in America. Stories about increased consumption, the new generation of wine drinkers, etc. But I'm always skeptical. That's because wine lovers are a vocal minority who tend to flock together, so all we see and hear is other wine lovers.
I sat down with Sven Bruchfeld yesterday here in my New York office. Bruchfeld, 35, is of German descent, but he was born in Chile. He's now worked a dozen vintages there, with stints at Viña Errázuriz and MontGras.
So Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. got into the Hall of Fame this week. I doubt there's anyone who denies they deserve it. They were both clearly megastars during their long playing careers, and are, by all accounts, upstanding citizens as well.
During my last visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape in November, a vigneron passed along a tip that I should check out what Julien Barrot was doing at Domaine La Barroche. I tasted a number of wines from the 2005 and 2004 vintages while there, and we also took a tour of some of his vineyards.
Over the weekend, I kept pulling bottles from the same area in my cellar. Before too long, a theme had arisen. The theme just happened to be '98 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The ’98 vintage was warm, and the wines were ripe and powerful when they were released.
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