SHE SAYS: Want to feel really good? Like you are in love? Then click the link right here and go to the Clos de Chacras website. Listen to the music while you read what we’ve written about this Bodega.
HE SAYS: This is another boutique winery in the city of Chacras de Coria in the Luján de Cuyo area. Bautista Gargantini was one of the fathers of the Argentine wine industry in Mendoza. By 1911, their winery ranked as one of the world’s leading producers. In 1921 they opened a facility in Chacras de Coria, but it was later sold. Then in 1987, Bautista’s granddaughter Silvia Gargantini, and her husband, Alejandro Genoud, purchased it. Some remodeling and updating was required, but beyond that the approval process took an astounding 17 years and they just reopened in 2003. Well, it was well worth the wait.
SHE SAYS: It’s not very often that someone has the patience to wait for 17 years to create something they love, but here you will see and feel the value of those 17 years. The preservation of their history and the permanence of their long-term choices for the life of their winery are seen and felt in every corner.
HE SAYS: We were lucky again and received a private tour of their old wine-making facility and saw some of the new improvements. Their old cement fermentation tanks are located underground, and the original gate that is reflected on their bottles is still there in the bottle storage area.
They have long-term contracts to purchase grapes from the nearby Maipú area and the La Consulta and La Carrodilla areas in the Uco Valley. They make two lines – Cavas de Crianza, with Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet varietals, plus a blend of the three – and Gran Estirpe, their premium Malbec wine. We paid about about $10 US each for the tour and tasting, which included cheese and crackers.
SHE SAYS: The 2004 Gran Estirpe is why we are here. When we tasted the Gran Estirpe at Vines of Mendoza, we knew we had to visit Clos de Chacras. Seek the Gran Estirpe.
2006 Cavas de Crianza Malbec –
HE SAYS: Gorgeously purple colored Malbec from the Maipú region, with fruity and soft flavors. It shows great balance and is very smooth and has a wonderful mouth feel. This sold for about $30 Argentine pesos, or less than about $10 U.S. This is a great wine and a tremendous value. 15+
SHE SAYS: This is our forth winery of the day. I can tell you this one is beautiful, but I have no more words than that.
2005 Cavas de Crianza Cabernet –
HE SAYS: This also comes from Maipú and was deep and dark, with an earthy component to it. It is very good and very complex. It can age for about 5 or 6 years they think. Also a great value at around $10. 15
SHE SAYS: This one makes me cry. In a good way.
2005 Cavas de Crianza Blend –
HE SAYS: A blend of 40% Malbec and 30% each of Cab and Merlot. It was nice, had medium tannins, but was not as distinguished as the Cab or Malbec. As I recall, the blend costs just a bit more. 14
SHE SAYS: I am tired. I will trust you on this one.
2004 Gran Estirpe Malbec –
HE SAYS: We tasted this through the Vines of Mendoza. The grapes for this Malbec come from 100-year-old vines in Lunlunta (Maipú) in the Luján de Cuyo area. It has brilliant purple color and a full mouth feel, soft and warm like a warm brie. This Malbec has merlot and cabernet and was one of the best malbecs I tasted. They only produced 6,100 bottles and it has won a few awards, so it is well worth seeking out. Really delicious. 16+
SHE SAYS: Seek the Gran Estirpe. Since they make only 6,000 bottles, this will not be a part of your scheduled tasting. Just buy a bottle and take it home with you. You will have no regrets.