Monday, August 4, 2014

Rutini Trumpeter Malbec-Syrah Blows Own Horn

Rutini's Tupungato winery in Argentina's Uco Valley was Opened in 2008, well over a century after Felipe Rutini decided it would be a good idea to grow some grapes and make some Mendoza wine.  Hundreds of acres are planted to wine grapes now.

A scant 21 miles away is the 21,500 foot peak of Tupungato, 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.  Harvest starts at the end of January and ends in early May, making it one of the longest growing seasons in the world.

In the Rutini Trumpeter Malbec-Syrah, those two grapes form a 50/50 split and come from Tupungato vineyards.  Aging took place in 40% new American oak, 40% new French oak and 20% used French oak barrels over seven months.  The wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation, which lends a mellow and creamy mouthfeel to this wine.  Winemaker Mariano Di Paola has done a fine job of producing a wine that is interesting - even a bit challenging - despite being produced in quite large amounts. 

The 2012 Rutini Trumpeter Malbec-Syrah is rich looking with a medium full body.  Soft vanilla notes on red berry aromas mark the nose, while hints of mocha, cinnamon and tobacco give some complexity.  The palate is a delight - it's an oaky one, but a delight nonetheless.  The use of new oak really shows in this wine, with the wood-induced flavors and aromas standing firmly in the forefront.  There is a huge savory angle to this red blend, which I love for pairing with meat.  The tannins are supple and the finish is fairly long.  I've had more complex Syrah blends, but not for $11.