Monday, July 21, 2014

A Nice, Affordable Chardonnay: Rutini Trumpeter, Argentina

In 1885 Felipe Rutini was hired by the Argentine government to develop public parks in Mendoza.  It didn't take him long to recognize the potential for winemaking in the region, and his family established themselves as winemakers, owning property there for over a century.  In 1994, ownership was transferred and winemaker Mariano Di Paola  has been overseeing the winemaking since then.  A winery was opened in 2008 in Tupungato, in the Uco Valley.  There are hundreds of acres of vineyard land planted to wine grapes now.

Only 21 miles away is the 21,5000 foot peak of Tupungato volcano, the world's tallest active volcano.  The minerality resulting from the location defines the terroir of the region.  A 25-degree swing in temperature between day and night produces the effect that makes it a great wine growing region.  The southern hemisphere harvest starts at the end of January and ends in early May, making it one of the longest growing seasons in the world.

The Rutini Trumpeter Chardonnay 2013 sells for $11 per bottle and sports an alcohol level of 13.5% abv.  Malolactic fermentation sits at 30%, and the oak treatment utilizes French oak - 50% new and 50% mature - for seven months.

The wine is a pale straw color and features a nose of apples, lemon peel and soft vanilla.  On the palate, citrus takes the forefront, with apple and pear flavors following.  Bright acidity and a really nice mouthfeel allow the oak to make its statement without overriding the sensation of the fruit.