Codorníu, the large producer of Spanish sparkling wine, or cava, is about to release the first wine from its Argentinean project, Septima. The wine, a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, is expected to retail for about $8 per bottle. About 26,000 cases were produced of the inaugural 2000 vintage, which will be reviewed by Wine Spectator in an upcoming issue.
Septima is a 750-acre estate located in the Lujan de Cuyo part of Argentina's Mendoza region. Codorníu purchased the estate in 1999 and completed construction of a new winery facility there this past July. So far, 250 acres of the property have been planted to Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Syrah.
Additional single-varietal wines will be released later this year, and a reserve line is planned for the future. Septima plans to increase its total production to 100,000 cases within the next six years.
The Argentina project is neither Codorníu's first foray outside Spain nor its first into table wines. In 1991, the company established Codorníu Napa in California. The winery started out making sparkling wines from the Carneros district, but in 1999, it shifted its primary focus to still wines, producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc under the Artesa label.
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