This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Argentinian Red Blend over £15 went to Zorzal, Field Blend Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec, Gualtallary, Mendoza 2011 (14.5%)

Tasted against:

  • Rutini, Encuentro Barrel Blend, Mendoza 2010
  • Zuccardi, Zeta, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2011


Zorzal was established in 2008 and is a collaboration between Argentina’s Michelini brothers, Juan Pablo and Matias, and silent Canadian business partners. It is located at 1,350m in Gualtallary, in the Uco Valley, at the foot of the Tupungato volcano. The Michelinis describe their style as ‘austerity before exuberance’, which is established from the outset by vineyard location at high altitude on alluvial soils, in a wide temperature range, in what is after all a desert climate.

The brothers attended Mendoza’s winemaking school, with Juan Pablo then gaining experience in Sonoma and Pomerol. Matias worked closer to home, doing vintages at Finca Sophenia, Luigi Bosca and Doña Paula, with Juan Pablo joining him at the latter.

Zorzal’s gravity-flow winery includes a sophisticated temperature control system. The brothers experiment with staggered harvesting dates and fermentations in egg-shaped vats. This Trophy-winner is a 55% Malbec, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon blend from 7- to 10-year-old vines planted in the same vineyard. Harvested, crushed and fermented together, they age for 20 months in second-use French oak casks, lending structure and a subtle vanilla hint without compromising purity of fruit.

Written by Decanter