Feb. 3, 2015 continued

We did not have a reservation for the Vistalba winery, but it was near Kaiken, and we  met the bicyclists there, too. We did not take the tour, having just toured Kaiken, but we joined the group for tasting in the cellar where they’ve got a high-ceilinged room exposing one wall of the natural soil to show the “terroir”, pale fine earth over rocky (glacial cobbles from the look of it). The rock provides mineral flavors to the grapes.

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Interestingly, Vistalba is owned by the brother of the owner of the Pulento Estates. Apparently the father had huge wine growing land under cultivation a generation ago when Argentina focused on producing wine in large volume, and not very good, either. Argentine’s drank a very large amount of wine per capita. That has all changed since the 1990s. Now the focus in on better wine in smaller quantities from smaller vineyards.

I tasted the “classic” group

Sparkling Tomero 2014. Faintly pink, rather acidic.

Malbec Tomero 2013.

Vistalba Corte C blend 2013. I like this blend the best of the Vistalba wines

and Jonathan tasted the “premium” group.

Sparkling, very smooth.

Tomero Gran Reserva, 100% malbec

Vistalba Corte A. Blend, Not as heavy tannins as other big reds

After this adventure, we wound around to find the Decero Winery where we had lunch. We were escorted to a dining room overlooking beautiful and extensive grounds, more than 200 hectares, of which 170 are under cultivation.

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Fantstic lunch, green salad with mustard glazed chicken bits and sunflower seeds, carpaccio of zucchini with two perfectly broiled shrimp, the best filet mignon JH has ever eaten (so he says–a real Gil Garcia moment), broiled chicken with fine match-stick vegetables. Dessert was one loser, apple crumble (not much apple, and crumble not crunchy) and one winner, a ball of chocolate ganache with tiny bits of candied fruit and nuts in it–like eating the inside of a very fine choc/fruit & nut easter egg.

At that point it was almost 3 pm and we decided to skip Pulento. Good thing, too, because we were offered a brief tour of Decero that was excellent. The young man spoke in Spanish but inject English technical wine terms, obviously comfortable in both languages. We saw steel tanks, gravity-flow bins and French oak barrels. All in all a lovely visit.

We got lost on the way home and arrived about 5 pm. Rested until our rental car, now repaired, turned up at 6:30 pm driven by the Alamo franchisee’s daughter and male friend. All seems well. After a day with all that wine and food, we managed to eat cucumber and carrot sticks for dinner and called it a day.