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.
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.