The third winery in the audacious US$50m (£28.6m) Clos de los Siete project, Flechas de los Andes, has been opened.
On 10 March, two French wine and business empires came together in Argentina to celebrate the opening of the flamboyant US$5m (£2.86m) construction, a joint venture between Laurent Dassault of Dassault Aviation – and Château Dassault – and the Rothschild family of Château Clarke in Listrac.
With 100-odd hectares of its own, the dramatic Sante Fé style winery, designed by Bruno Legrand, sits in the 850ha of land (of which 260 are now in production) which were divided between the original seven owners of Clos de los Siete in a vast stretch of bleak terrain in Vista Flores, 60 miles south of Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes.
The 5000 hectolitre, gravity-fed winery, constructed from wood, glass, steel and wrought ironwork, contains an air-conditioned barrel cellar with room for 3000 barriques.
Made to its own individual recipe, as distinct from the Clos de los Siete brand itself, the 2004 Flechas Gran Corte is the first vintage of its 10,000 bottle, top of the range Malbec-based blend which will cost around $40 (£22.85) retail, and a 30,000 bottle Gran Malbec, which will sell for around $25 (£14.29).
The winery will also contribute to the Clos de los Siete brand itself.
Inspired by Bordeaux oenologist Michel Rolland, Philippe Schell and the late Jean-Michel Arcaute in 1998, Clos de los Siete set out to produce premium wines from a unique Argentinian terroir of poor soil and high altitude Andean vineyards.
The first winery to be completed, Monteviejo, belongs to Catherine Péré Vergé, the Cristal d’Arque heiress and owner of Château le Gay and Château Montviel in Pomerol, and Château La Gravière in Lalande de Pomerol.
Next in line, the Cuvelier family’s Cuvelier los Andes is producing wine, though the winery is still under construction.
Two other interests, the d’Aulan and Garcin families, have dropped out, so only two more wineries remain to be built, one by Jean-Jacques Bonnie of Château Malartic-Lagravière, with the final piece of the jigsaw to be completed by Rolland himself.
Written by Mariana di Leo and Anthony Rose