Friday, Feb.6, 2015 Last sips of wine
Since we must continue our journey tomorrow, today was our last tasting opportunity. We made an appointment to visit the Norton winery and taste sparkling wines at 11 am. After several wrong turns, we got onto the big highway (40), and made our way to Norton without much trouble. None of the wineries are well-marked and all publicity seems to be individual, so you are not sure whether there will be signs or not—usually there are few to none.
The tasting at Norton was very interesting; most are charmat method where the second fermentation is in a pressurized tank rather than in the bottle (champenois method). We tried sparkling blends that had different levels of bubbles, and a bottle of sweet, strawberry pink sparkling wine that was so good that we dry wine drinkers bought a bottle. What a wedding toast it would make (with cheesecake anyone?}
After we visited Norton, we went into Lujan de Cuyo and had coffee. Afterward we had a picnic lunch and a nap in a shady lane. At 3 pm we stopped in at Trivento and asked if we could visit. They began at 3:30 pm and we had a good visit, tasting some nice wines. The Amado sur is a blend created for the US market, and while it may sound cynical, it was really, really good. Especially when you find out that Trivento is owned by Concha y Toro, a huge Chilean company.
From Trivento, we returned to Dolium to have a “vertical tasting” of Malbecs from different years. We started with 2013 and went back in time, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006.
Our host, Ricardo, after a difficult week, was happy to discuss wine.
Details: The day began overcast, went up into the high 80s, and cooled a bit when it rained. The rain fell when we were indoors visiting wineries (Norton and Trivento). On our way to Norton, I stopped in at our money changing contact, and though the rate was down slightly (12.90 AR pesos =US $1), that is more than the official exchange rate. We continued on to the bric a brac market in Parque Pelligrini, where very little was set up at 10 am. What was there suggests this market is similar to the market in the center of Parque Kennedy in Miraflores on weekend evenings, so I felt better about not staying.
When we returned to Mendoza it was already after 7 pm. Jonathan made risotto with peas and salami, it was delicious.