Argentina Red Blend over £10
Sophenia, Synthesis The Blend, Tupungato, Mendoza 2008
The exceptional quality of this wine charmed the panel by showcasing the much-awaited complexity Malbec can achieve when blended.
Its multilayered fruit and elegance has to be the reflection of the personality of Sophenia’s vineyard in Gualtallary and the dedication of its team. “We must have made more than 500 tastings in total of the grapes; the varietal components and the final blend for this wine” reckon Matías Michelini and Rogelio Rabino, Sophenia’s winemaker consultant and winemaker respectively.
Synthesis is their icon quality range made with grapes selected from the best parcels of their vineyard. For “The Blend” its four varieties - Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – have been vinified separately until the final wine was decided and aged for further 9 months in new French barrels.
There is only one other blend in this winery and it is its name, 50% Sophia and 50% Eugenia the owners’ daughters names. Roberto Luka and his friend Gustavo Benvenuto started Sophenia in 1998 by planting a 130 hectares vineyard in Gualtallary, Tupungato, in the highest edge of the Uco Valley.
Phil Crozier, of the Gaucho Grill restaurants and judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards says, “it took me 2 years to pronounce Gualtallary (wal as in gua from Guantanamo and ta-jha-ree) correctly, and I am still being pulled up on the phonetics.” Trying to remember Gualtallary’s name is worth the effort. This cooler district of Mendoza holds the promise of producing Uco’s most elegant wines.