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To all Wine Exchangers,

Gualtallary strikes again! And, again, not with Malbec…

Many of you guys know what’s happening with Alejandro Vigil’s exciting El Enemigo project in what is now pretty well established as Mendoza’s top sub-region, Gualtallary.  But Alejandro’s wines focus on the emergence of Cabernet Franc.

Today, we’re bringing you the latest release of another grape that may just give Malbec the same run for its money in this magical locale.

Pinot Noir.

Not kidding.

How? Isn’t it too hot? Au Contraire, mon frere, not when you’re the highest winery in Mendoza!

When you combine that elevation with the amount of brilliant unfettered sunlight these vineyards receive, you know you have the potential for Pinot Noir success.

Zorzal is a young, boutique winery that began in 2007 by the Michelini brothers, Gerardo, Matias, and Juan Pablo (the winemaker) along with a group of Canadian investors.  The winery and vineyards are both located in Gualtallary, just outside the town of Tupungato, at approximately 4500 feet above sea level, indeed making it the highest winery in Mendoza.

The grapes are all hand harvested and the vision is to have a light hand in the winemaking to let the fruit and terroir shine.  The winery practices organic methods in the vineyards and uses only indigenous yeast in the wine making process.  Zorzal tends to pick its grapes a little earlier than most in Mendoza to retain freshness and acidity in their wines instead of the overblown ripeness that is too often seen.

This hand harvested, single vineyard wine from Gualtallary is 100% Pinot Noir and is completely un-oaked to let the fruit driven quality of the wine shine.  This isn’t big, gooey wanna-be Syrah Pinot, this is Pinot-lover’s Pinot. Bright red fruits, predominantly raspberry, jump out of the glass with gamey notes, cola, dried leaves, and forest floor.  The mouthfeel is rich, soft, and supple with light tannin and medium acidity.  The chalky soil comes through in the long finish, great with or without food. The finish is deceptively long.

Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutierrez again brought home to his readers just what a sensational value this wine truly is. He wrote, “Cropped from an excellent vintage in Gualtallary, the 2016 Gran Terroir Pinot Noir fermented in concrete and matured in oak barrels for some 14 months. Zorzal's wines are usually very good value for the money, and this is an outstanding Pinot Noir at an unbelievable price point. It is very balanced and has complexity, harmony, grace and elegance, with deep flavors. The tannins are refined, and there's great freshness. Superb! 93 points.

That’s actually two points higher than the remarkable 2013 version of this wine we blew through a couple of years ago.

Vinous Media’s Stephen Tanzer also adored this wine, writing, “Sexy nose combines redcurrant, plum, mocha and spices. Lovely supple, fruity Pinot Noir with captivating smoky mineral and underbrush complexity. The intensity of flavor here belies the wine's palish color. Finishes with sweet tannins and very good breadth and length…this one is a serious bargain at $20.”

Is there anything these guys (and Gualtallary) can’t do?  A remarkable value at only $16.98 a bottle…

Zorzal Pinot Noir Gran Terroir Tupungato Valley 2016
 

 

93 Points!  Cropped from an excellent vintage in Gualtallary, the 2016 Gran Terroir Pinot Noir fermented in concrete and matured in oak barrels for some 14 months. Zorzal's wines are usually very good value for the money, and this is an outstanding Pinot Noir at an unbelievable price point. It is very balanced and has complexity, harmony, grace and elegance, with deep flavors. The tannins are refined, and there's great freshness. Superb! - Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate #237
ONLY $16.98

 

 

 

 

 

 

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