Malbec Blend Alert

Inspiring this bottling’s name, La Posta del Viñotero is a wine tavern in Mendoza
where local wine growers would historically congregate to sample the results of
their harvested labours, while passionately exchanging opinions and insights into
their working of soils, vines and wine styles. La Posta is also the Italian name for
Post Office. For many of the millions of Italians who immigrated to Argentina in
the 19th and 20th century, it became a key gathering place to socialize.

Fruit for this week’s DéClassé recommended offering is drawn from a collection
of 3,000 foot, high altitude vineyards in La Consulta, Rivadavia, Vista Flores and
Altamira. The narrow band of alluvial soils, in this now renowned and prolific wine
producing province, are ideally suited for the cultivation of Argentina’s signature
Malbec grape. The growing conditions are an apparent agricultural contradiction
whereby some of the most characterful wines are being extracted from mature,
30 year-old vine stock thriving in near-inhospitable geography. Just to the east is
infertile desert; to the west, is the so-called ‘rain shadow’ created by the nearby
chain of majestic Andean peaks.

This thick-skinned grape variety, which was first introduced to South America in
the 1850’s by Frenchman Miguel Pouget, has evolved through several cycles of
being in and out of commercial favour. The spiced and fresh fruit elements that
this variety lent to traditional Bordeaux blends, have become calling cards for
Argentinean Malbec, shining alone, on its own merits in varietal bottling form.

This opaque, purple red blend is made up of 60% Malbec with equal, 20% parts
of Bonarda and Syrah. It’s well-made, fun, easy drinking wine intended to be
enjoyed young. Aged for 14 months in oak, it has sufficient depth for those who
prefer bigger weight and mouth feel in their reds. For palettes that lean toward
brambly fruit flavours, this has loads to offer as well. Try it on the slightly cooler
side of serving temperature.

La Posta

VINTAGES – LCBO Product #269860 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Mendoza, Argentina
By: Puerto Ancona S.A.
Release Date: Dec. 13, 2014

Tasting Note
Has many of the typical Malbec aromas and flavour profiles including raspberry
and cassis with some hints of cocoa and mocha. A fair amount of fresh acidity
lends balance to this fruit-driven red. Try this as an everyday, apéritif wine or with
herbed roast chicken, lamb, beef and grilled vegetables.

Mantinia Alert

Pastoral life still characterizes the mountainous region of Arcadia, in central
Peloponnesus. Its bucolic isolation have long been reflected on as a paradise in
both Greek and Roman poetry, as well as, in the literature of the Renaissance.
Formerly a peninsula, it technically become an island with the building of the
Corinth Canal at the end of the 19th century. Creating a maritime shortcut
across this ancient land, it connects the Gulf of Corinth, mouth of the Ionian
Sea and the Saronic Gulf, which is the gateway to the Aegean. Here, you’ll also
find so many of the sites that are quintessentially Greek: famed palaces include
King Agamemnon’s bronze-age construction at Mycenae and King Nestor’s at
Pýlos. You’ll also find one of the best preserved Greek theatres at Epidaurus
and Olympia: original host venue of the Olympic Games for over a millennium.
They also make a great deal of wine and have done so for a very long time.

In one of the 13 principal regions of modern-day Greece, Peleponnesus covers
approximately 12% of the landmass. The historian-poet Homer referred to it as:
Ampeloessa, meaning ‘full of vines’. So it is to this day, outstripping production
of all other Greek wine-producing areas. This week’s DéClassé recommended,
varietal bottling: Mantinia, takes its name from the larger region. In the Rizes,
Lithovounia, and Agiorgitika sub-communes of Mantinia, they primarily grow the
white grape variety: Moschofilero, which so-uniquely defines this refreshing wine.

In the parlance of international wine styles, Moschofilero is otherwise known as
‘blanc de gris’ due to the pale-grey caste of the grape’s skin colour. Though
much more subtle than the distantly related Gewurztraminer and Muscat, this
wine shares some of distinct flavor and aroma characteristics such as flower
and spice. These current 40 hectares of the Tselepos winery estate are in a
direct lineage to the very oldest vineyards found on the peninsula, many of which
were founded over 3,000 years ago. As is so often the case, poor soil makes for
counter-intuitive yet ideal conditions, yielding vigorous vines and characterful
fruit. This clay-based, rocky terrain is no exception to the rule, adding a touch of minerality to the resulting wine, providing a firm structure.

Once again white wine lovers, I’ll challenge you to try something different in the
still-limited pantheon of white wines available in the North American market. On
the LCBO Vintage’s shelves for a short while only, just buy 2 right away. Then go
back and pick up some more for Christmas and New Years.


VINTAGES – LCBO Product #724583 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
13% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: Peloponnese, Greece
By: Domaine Tselepos
Release Date: Dec. 6, 2014

Tasting Note
This wine has an abundance of citrus fruit flavours and lemon flower aroma. Try
serving ahead of a meal with Phylo pastry appetizers, prosciutto, fresh fish dishes,
scallops or a cucumber and melon salad.