For a wine lover, visiting the source of your affection brings the bottle to life and intensifies the tasting experience. Wines from Argentina have been among my favorites for years so I was delighted when Argen Marketing and Aymará Turismo invited me to visit Argentina and created an excellent itinerary that showcased several of the Mendoza region's finest winemakers. Argen Marketing and Aymara Turismo managed all of the details - all I had to do was arrive ready to sip and savor because Mendoza welcomes visitors with open arms and flowing vino. Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing highlights from my wine tasting adventures in Mendoza but would like to begin with my amazing time at Bodegas Salentein.
Located in the Uco Valley against the breathtaking beauty of the Andes Mountains, Bodegas Salentein is the single biggest cool climate estate in Mendoza and boasts some of the highest vineyard elevations in the world. Led by the legendary winemaker José Galante, Bodegas Salentein is renowned for wines that elegantly express the grace and power of Argentina's signature Malbec grape. Bodegas Salentein's impressive portfolio also includes excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
I was first introduced to José Galante and Bodegas Salentein at an event in New York City in 2014 and his wines instantly secured a place on my list of favorites. A winemaker of extraordinary talent and humility, Galante is celebrating his 40th harvest this year and has been at Salentein for 10 years. Widely acknowledged as a trailblazer in Argentine winemaking, Galante remains humble and restless in his quest to make the finest wine possible. If you're planning a trip to Mendoza, a tour and tasting at Bodegas Salentein is a must - the architecture and landscape are absolutely stunning. Offering a truly engaging visitor experience, Bodegas Salentein has an art gallery, restaurant & wine bar, chapel, and offers overnight accommodations at Posada Salentein.
To get acquainted with the wines of Bodegas Salentein, I recommend their Malbec Reserve 2013 ($18.99) - it is a great introduction to the Salentein/Galante style: fresh and luscious fruit with vibrant acidity. One of my favorite blends from the Bodegas Salentein portfolio is Numina Gran Corte Uco Valley 2012 ($41). An intriguing and infinitely drinkable blend of mostly Malbec enhanced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot; Numina showcases Galante's artistry and captures the unique essence of each grape to create a wine of great beauty. A sip of these wines is certain to inspire your own Argentine adventure.
Mendoza is quite a special and vibrant city - even the airport has a vineyard. Hotel options include boutique properties and global chains such as the Sheraton and Intercontinental. For more information on planning a trip to Mendoza, visit the Aymará Turismo website.
Stay tuned for more details on my wine adventure in Mendoza!