Updated: Mar 30, 2020
The Uco Valley (Valle de Uco) is the newest and fastest growing of the three wine regions of Mendoza, Argentina. Many of the vintners who have been attracted to this area are from other countries, notably France, and are creating innovative wines.
While it’s only about 70 minutes south of the city of Mendoza, it’s off the beaten path. We even had to go through a border control checkpoint to ensure that we weren’t bringing into the Uco Valley fruits or vegetables that may harbor insects harmful to the vineyards.
We had a terrific tour with sommelier Flor, with Mendoza Andes/the Tintos.
We first visited Bodega Rolland, one of the wineries of the Clos de los Siete, a collaborative of several wineries. It was originated by renowned winemaker Michel Bolland, who hails from France’s Bordeaux region. The winery is in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
The tasting, with Bruno, was unusual in that it started with red wines and ended with a white wine. Usually it’s the other way around because the reds are more robust. Here, the white, a Sauvignon Blanc that utilizes three different vessels for aging (tank, “egg” and French oak) and then blended together, is more intense and complex than the reds. The tank gives it minerality, the egg gives it creaminess, and the barrel gives it strength and color.
Mariflor Malbec 2017 😊++
Mariflor Malbec 2018 from the tank, for comparison ½ 😊 (it still needs to age)
Val de Flores 2014, a more typical Malbec of the Uco Valley (earthy, darker) 😊😊
Mariflor Sauvignon Blanc 😊++
Bodega Piedra Negra
We next visited Bodega Piedra Negra, owned by François Lurton, another pioneer of the Uco Valley whose family was originally from Bordeaux. This organic and biodynamic winery is unusual for Argentina in that it produces 50% white wine and 50% red wine. Most Argentinian wineries specialize in reds.
Our guide Augustin led us through the
tour and tasting of Uco Valley wine.
We first tasted Pinot Gris 2017, enjoyed outdoors on the winery’s terrace 😊+
We then had a barrel tasting of Cabernet
Franc 1/2 😊 (it also needs to age)