Our first day in Mendoza was a great one. After spending a restful night at the Sheraton in the heart of the city, we left for the Uco Valley, a 2 hour ride from Mendoza. It was worth the trip! Our tour at O. Fournier dazzled us: an $8 million investment by a young Spaniard in a space age looking winery followed by lunch at the best winery restaurant in Argentina. Our menu:apple soup with carrot air and crispy ham/ delights of blue cheese and caramelized nonions with malbec/salmorejo (gaspacho)/ veal ragout or portobello mushroom risotto/ torrontes sorbet/ dulce de leche ice cream paired with BCrux 2009 Sauvignon blanc; Urban 2009 malbec; BCrux red 2007, a blend of tempranillo(60%), cab(15%), syrah(15%) merlot(10%); Alpha Crux 2003 red, a blend of tempranillo (50%), malbec(40%), merlot(10%) and Alpha Crux 2007 malbec. Everybody was raving!
After a short ride, we were at the French connection: Clos de los Siete, a joint venture of 7 French winemakers, starring Michel Rolland. We visited the newest of the 7: DiamAndes. Another major investment in this one year old state of the art winery whose first wine, Gran Riserva 2007 received 92+ from Robert Parker. Aged 20 months in new barrels, this wine had a distinctive French balance with 70% malbec & 30% cab. We also had the DiamAndes Rosé malbec, the Monteviejo Linda Flor Chardonnay 2009 and Clos de los Siete 2008 which is blend of malbec (56%), merlot(21%), Cab (11%), Syrah (10%) and Petit verdot(2%). The deal with Clos de los Siete is that each winery has to contribute 50% of their production to the Clos label. With 850 heactares, the total production is 3 million bottles.