Luigi Bosca, Terroir Los Miradores Malbec

Luigi Bosca

2017

The Miradores is a terroir driven, single vineyard wine from the ever-consistent Luigi Bosca Estate. The Los Miradores vineyard sits at 1,150 Metres above sea level in the Tunuyán sub region of the Uco Valley area of Mendoza.
Certainly not a producer who does things by halves, The Arizu family spent 10 years on soil a alysis and careful selection of the right rootstock before planting began. Using Massale Selection they took cuttings from three different old vine parcels on their estates and grew them on in the same site. These three rootstocks were trialled in the Miradores vineyard over several years, selecting the best performer for the final planting. The old fashioned system of Massale Selection is considered the best way to maintain your vineyards unique vine characteristics rather than by using Clonal Selection, buying in specific clones grown elsewhere in a nursery, obviously you need to have existing vines to do it. The vines are now just over 10 years old and are farmed biodynamically. The young vigorous vines are restrained by the poor crumbly, sandy clay soils, high altitude and are only lightly watered by drip irrigation. The grapes are handpicked, destemmed and carefully selected before fermentation in 6000lt stainless steel tanks after fermentation part remained in stainless steel the remainder was aged in new French oak barrels for a year before a final blending and further aging in bottle for 6 months. Los Miradores is always one of the most powerful wines in the Bosca range with deep dark fruits and dark chocolate and espresso notes; the cool climate keeps the balance with good acidity countering the ripe fruit. This could cellar well though drinking beautifully too.
Steak almost goes without saying - for alternatives try salty blue cheeses, slow cooked meaty stews, or blackened aubergines.

Producer
Region
Variety
Malbec
Alcohol-abv
14.5%
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£24
Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza is by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains, the province is responsible for roughly 70 percent of the country's annual wine production. The French grape variety Malbec has its New World home in the vineyards of Mendoza, producing red wines of great concentration and intensity.

The province lies on the western edge of Argentina, across the Andes Mountains from Chile. While the province is large (it covers a similar area to the state of New York), its viticultural land is clustered mainly in the northern part, just south of Mendoza City. Here, the regions of Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu and the Uco Valley are home to some of the biggest names in Argentinian wine.

Mendoza's winemaking history is nearly as old as the colonial history of Argentina itself. The first vines were planted by priests of the Catholic Church's Jesuit order in the mid-16th Century, borrowing agricultural techniques from the Incas and Huarpes, who had occupied the land before them. Malbec was introduced around this time by a French agronomist, Miguel Aimé Pouget. In the 1800s, Spanish and Italian immigrants flooded into Mendoza to escape the ravages of the phylloxera louse that was devastating vineyards in Europe at the time. A boom in wine production came in 1885, when a railway line was completed between Mendoza and the country's capital city, Buenos Aires, providing a cheaper, easier way of sending wines out of the region

Altitude is one of the most important characteristics of the Mendoza terroir. The strip of vineyard land that runs along the base of the Andes lies between 800 and 1200 meters (2600 and 3900ft) above sea level, and it is this altitude that moderates the hot, dry climate of the region. Warm, sunny days are followed by nights made much colder by westerly winds from the Andes. This cooling-off period slows ripening, extending the growing season and contributing rich, ripe flavors to the grapes that do not come at the expense of acidity.

Argentina

Argentina is one of the most important wine-producing countries in the New World, and the largest producer of wine in South America. The high-altitude deserts of the eastern Andes have given rise to a high-quality wine industry, and the terroir here is well suited to Argentina's adopted grape variety, the ubiquitous Malbec. Originally from Bordeaux, this is now responsible for some of Argentina's most famous wines, which are characteristically bright and intense, with floral notes and flavors of dark fruit.

Covering just over one million square miles (2.8 million sq km), Argentina is the second-largest country in South America and stretches from the southern border of Bolivia in the north to the southern tip of the continent. It is home to a vast array of landscapes, from the rocky peaks of the Andes in the west to the fertile Pampas lowlands in the east.

Most viticulture in Argentina takes place in the foothills of the Andes, and most famously in Mendoza, where desert landscapes and high altitudes combine to make a terroir that gives rise to aromatic, intensely flavored red wines. Vineyards in Mendoza reach as high as 5000ft (1500m) above sea level. Here, increased levels of solar radiation and a high diurnal temperature variation make for a long, slow ripening period, leading to balanced sugars and acidity in the grapes. Nearly three-quarters of Argentinian wine production takes place in Mendoza, and in addition to Malbec, there are significant plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bonarda. Mendoza's position in the rain shadow of the Andes means that there is little rainfall, and irrigation is supplied by Andean meltwater.

Further north, the regions of Salta and Catamarca are even higher, and a world-topping vineyard owned by Bodega Colome in Molinos sits at 9900ft (3000m). Low latitudes in this corner of Argentina – which at 22°N to 28°N is considerably closer to the Equator than any European wine region – are tempered by the high altitude and cold mountain air. Here, Argentina's signature white grape, Torrontes, is grown, making an aromatic, floral white wine.

There are also some wine-producing regions in Argentina closer to the Atlantic coast than to the lofty peaks of the Andes. Patagonia in the south is now home to two regions, Rio Negro and Neuquen, the cooler conditions of which are suited to creating wines made from Pinot Noir.