Back in April I was given a bottle of San Gimignano 2008 Malbec by Dan from Anuva Wines. The idea was to save this bottle that I loved for a special occasion, but once a dinner was postponed or a real reason seemed unlikely on a standard weekend night, I put the bottle on its side and let it age even further. Later, I considered breaking it open to celebrate one year in Argentina, but again the date passed and it stayed corked. But now that I have this new project with Anuva, it only seemed right that it should be the first bottle opened up.
Of course, it wasn’t that easy. After all of the time waiting, my hands almost didn’t want to open it, like it should stay closed. That is obviously ridiculous. I invited my friend Pablo, an Argentine writer, to come over and share the wine with me. I value his opinion on wine because, after all, he’s an Argentinian and knows about wine just like anyone else here. To add to the group, I also invited Linde, a new roommate of mine from Holland who just arrived a couple of days ago. This was her first taste of Argentinian wine in this country.
San Gimignano comes from the Mevi Boutique Winery in Mendoza, in the locality of Maipú, where some of the best wine in the world is produced. We opened the bottle and let it sit for a few moments, oxidizing and allowing us to enjoy the bouquet. Breathing in deeply, I noticed something smokey and dark, but not exactly overpowering. My notes tell me that it smelled like chocolate on the first whiff, but should definitely mix well with some kind of meat. After the long wait, the first sip was no disappointment. Smooth and almost silky, I once again had the sensation of a buttery taste.
My friends joining me in the tasting agreed that it was smooth and a really excellent wine. Talking and enjoying the laid back but fun night, the three of us got through the bottle easily. As time went on and we drank the second glass, we found that it matured well and opened up very nicely. From what I’ve found throughout my year in Argentina and by experimenting with various wine labels, the possibilities are endless for the drink. You can find a really cheap bottle that’s mass produced, and the quality shows. On the other hand, when you do find a bottle you love, you want to stick with it and keep the good times going. San Gimignano is one of those bottles for me. However, the small winery only produces 9,000 bottles a year, and as every label shows the number, I’m happy enough to say that I drank number 6,115.
Anuva recommends pairing this wine with a meat like salami, or perhaps another kind of deli meat. It’s also good with red meats, stew, pasta, fish and cheeses. In our case, we paired it with some potato chips, but nothing could diminish its quality.
Here’s a video on my first reaction to the tasting, as well as how the evening went with my friends. In Part 3 of Uncorked, I’ll be trying the Mairena 2005 Bonarda.
Varietals: Malbec 100%.
Maturation: French Oak – 12 months,
plus 6 months in the bottle.
Alcohol Content: ALC 14.2%