Malbec from the Heart: Puramun is a Labor of Love for Legendary Winemaker Pepe Galante

From by Wanda Mann
Malbec from the Heart: Puramun is a Labor of Love for Legendary Winemaker Pepe Galante

  Pepe Galante Puramunimage courtesy of Puramun

"Each harvest (Puramun) is a new challenge. A time for searching and finding. Nothing is the same, everything changes: the climate, the soil, the grapes, and even ourselves. Year after year we trek a new road, a labyrinth of grapevines that express through their precious fruit our devotion to the Valle de Uco terroir. Each Puramun bottle is the result of this passionate and endless search."  
- legendary winemaker José "Pepe" Galante

When the name Pepe Galante appears on a bottle, you know that the wine will be something special. Renowned as the father of modern winemaking in Argentina, Pepe has more than 40 harvests to his credit. Pepe's stellar reputation was earned during his 34 years as chief winemaker at Catena Zapata and currently at Bodegas Salentein. Proving to the world that Argentina can produce extraordinary wine, Pepe has been the catalyst for the increased level of respect for Malbec and other Argentine varietals.

When other winemakers speak of Pepe, not only do they praise his talent, they speak of his humility. I can vouch for this. Soft-spoken and kind, Pepe shares his wonderful wines without pretension. His latest project, Puramun, is deeply personal and close to his heart because it is Pepe's first-ever wine project owned by his family.

Puramun Terroirimage courtesy of Puramun

Puramun means “harvest” and "search" in Mendoza's indigenous Mapuche language. Pepe believes that the high-altitude Valle de Uco is Argentina's best terroir to produce high quality wines. The region's diversity of soil and climate enable the grapes to express themselves in a variety of ways. To create Puramun, Pepe picks grapes from different places along the Valle de Uco. Combining these grapes from unique terroirs creates a complex blend that is an authentic expression of the Uco Valley.

I recently had the pleasure of tasting Puramun with Pepe and his charming son Fernando when they visited New York City during their whirlwind multi-city tour of the United States. As we sipped, Fernando and Pepe shared stories of the family's weekly Sunday asados (barbecues) where they join together for food, wine, and laughter.

Puramun Reserva Malbec 2013
Puramun Reserva Malbec 2013 (about $25) displays the signature elegance and balance of a Pepe Galante wine. The rich and flirty fruit aromas of this supple red are absolutely alluring. Full-bodied and luscious with a hint of spice and soft tannins, this wine has finesse and grace. Robust and lively, the superb quality of those hand-harvested Valle de Uco grapes is evident in every sip. A beautiful wine that deftly showcases Pepe's talent and passion, Puramun Reserva Malbec 2013 is a stunning achievement and absolutely delicious. Bravo to Pepe and the Galante family!

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