Finca Decero Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

One naturally associates Malbec with the ever-increasingly popular Mendoza region of Argentina; however, this fantastic high-elevation region also produces some fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon!  More often than not, you will see Cabernet in a supporting role behind Malbec, but there are many producers who offer single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wines.  Such is this month's Heritage Club selection, Finca Decero Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.

Finca Decero follows a devote philosophy they call "Amano," meaning by hand, which translates to a literal "hands-on" approach to their entire viticulture method.  From planting to pruning to harvest, each process in the vineyard is done with meticulous care for the vine. Even their parcel selection considered nature's effects on their vines' health: their Remolinos Vineyard is named for "remolinos," small whirlwinds which are vital to the grapes health shortly before harvest.

2013 was a cooler vintage in Agrelo, the sub-region of Mendoza in which their Remolinos Vineyard lies.  The grapes were left to hang on the vine 7-10 days later than normal to allow for full ripeness and maturation of the grape and fruit character.  After harvest, the grape bunches are sorted, destemmed, and sorted again to allow only grapes of the highest quality to continue into wine.  At this point, Finca Decero follows a maceration method of growing popularity called "cold soaking."  Before alcoholic fermentation, the juice sits on the skins at a very low temperature to allow a full extraction of color.  After fermentation, the temperature is lowered again and the wine pulls fine tannins and other aromatics from the skins for an additional 10 days.  This allows for a rich, hearty and very complex finished wine.

Bodega Monteviejo's Festivo Torrontes 2015

Our second selection this month is my favorite Argentinean white wine, Torrontes.  Torrontes belongs to a family of grapes with a highly aromatic character, such as Muscat and Gewurztraminer, and in its home of Argentina, it expresses a delightfully refreshing acidic zip which makes a lip-smacking wine character. Bodega Monteviejo's Festivo Torrontes 2015 is made under the careful supervision of 100-pt Robert Parker awardee winemaker Marcelo Pelleriti.

Marcelo Pelleriti is a year-round winemaker.  He begins his year in Argentina preparing for harvest, and once the wines are safely in the cellar, he departs for France to continue a second harvest.  Bodegas Monteviejo is owned by the French family Pere Verge, and they have hired Marcelo to oversee production at Monteviejo as well as their two estates in France.  In addition to his responsibilities at each estate, Marcelo has also become a highly regarded resource to other winemakers in the ever growing Argentinean wine culture.