We hope everyone reading us from across the globe is doing well and staying healthy and safe during this difficult time. Obviously, the wine business has not been spared from this pandemic plaguing our planet, but we do have some good news! With special permission from Argentina’s government, the annual grape harvest in Mendoza was allowed to go on, as all agricultural ventures were deemed essential business. With smaller crews than usual, we are very pleased that all Vectors South grapes (Cabernet Franc and Malbec) have been picked and the process of making our 2020 vintages has already begun. We are so thankful to Mariano Onofri and Pablo Martorell and their entire team for making this possible under quite complicated conditions.
The other news we’d like to share is that Vectors South will soon be on sale in the United States via Vinoshipper.com. Our container, headed to the west coast of the US where the shipping facility is located, has been held up due to government restrictions in place due to COVID-19, but it is on the way. We will share more as the day when Vectors South will be available gets closer. Please stay tuned to our Instagram and website for more details. All orders will be processed through Vectorssouth.com.
As we try to push through these incredibly trying times, we hope everyone is also drinking and trying new wines while staying at home. Since Vectors South wines are not yet available to the general public, we have a few recommendations of wines for everyone to try while we try to stay sane during this lockdown. We’ll give you a sparkling, a white, and, of course, a red, two of the three being from Argentina. Enjoy!
Hattingley Classic Reserve English Sparkling Wine- Everyone knows Champagne, especially when it comes to celebrating something, but many inexperienced wine drinkers don’t realize that just because a wine is sparkling doesn’t mean it is Champagne. To be called Champagne the wine must come from the region of Champagne in France. Just like Prosecco, the bubbly wine from Italy, must come from Veneto or Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. Sparkling wine from England is called just that, English Sparkling Wine. This particular wine from Hampshire in the South of England is truly remarkable and shows that wine makers in the UK are taking advantage of the cooler climate and diverse soil to make some splendid wines. This wine is made in the champagne method, meaning that there are two fermentations, the second taking place in the bottle, which gives the wine its carbonation. Afterwards, it is aged for at least three years in the Hattingley cellars. The wine is made with a variety of grapes from different vintages. Its composition is 48% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 17% Pinot Meunier, and 2% Pino Gris. As the wine is aged partially in white burgundy barrels, there is a subtle oaky taste, but just the perfect amount. Otherwise, the wine is very refreshing with hints of lemon and apricot coming through. This has actually become my go-to sparkling wine, being more affordable than most Champagnes and perfect for anyone looking to branch out from Prosecco.
El Enemigo Chardonnay 2017/2018- When you think of Argentine wine, you most likely don’t think of whites, especially not Chardonnay, yet this particular Chard from El Enemigo is fantastic, and much different to the extremely oaky Napa chardonnays we often have in the United States. Taste apples and pears on the tongue before enjoying a creamy almost buttery finish. We recommend both vintages: go for whichever one is more easily available in your local wine shop. El Enemigo is a fantastic project headed by the chief winemaker for industry giant Catena Zapata, Alejandro Vigil, and Adrianna Catena, youngest daughter of Nicolas Catena, the head of the Catena Zapata wine empire. This joint venture has been very fruitful, not only making some of the best wines in South America, but serving one of the best lunches in Mendoza. The best part of eating at Casa Vigil at the El Enemigo winery was the chance to meet and chat about wine with Alejandro himself, truly a Rockstar in the wine world. All around us tourists from Argentina, Brazil, Italy, and other places asked him for selfies and autographs, but Vigil still had time to speak to each table individually. After I told him about Vectors South, he was very curious and praised the work of our winemaker Pablo Martorell and wished us the best of luck.
Catena Zapata Cabernet Franc San Carlos Appellation 2017: When you think of Argentine wine, you undoubtedly think of red wine and most likely Malbec, but something special is happening in Argentina when it comes to Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is unknown to many wine drinkers in the states, yet it is actually the “parent” of the far better known Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, the “parents” of Cab Sauv are Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, hence the name. In France, Cab Franc is often used for blending, especially Bordeaux blends along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Cabernet Francs from Argentina aren’t always readily available in the States, but one that you can find on the shelves of many wine stores is this fantastic 90-point Robert Parker Cab Franc by the aforementioned Catena Zapata, the royal family of Argentine viniculture. This particular Cabernet Franc draws on grapes from a few different vineyards within the San Carlos Appellation, in the Uco Valley, the same place where Vectors South vineyards are located. This 2017 gives the drinker a great example of how a Cabernet Franc from this part of the world should taste. There is lots of vanilla and red fruit, perhaps some eucalyptus, and a peppery taste, in this particular case black pepper, though you may get green pepper from some other Cab Francs from the Uco Valley. This wine is very easy to drink. It can be enjoyed as just a sipping wine, but as with most wine, it will always be better with food, especially red meats, pasta with tomato sauces, pizza, and spicier dishes, including Mexican food.