Mon 19 Apr 2010
As many wine writers and consumers do, I dote on unusual combinations of grapes. Not that every one works, but when they do, the result can be enlightening. I thought about this proposition last night as LL and I prepared dinner — shrimp and chicken gumbo — and sipped on glasses of the Trapiche Extra Brut non-vintage sparkling wine from Argentina’s Mendoza region. The blend — and you have to sort of wrap your mind around this — is 70 percent chardonnay, 20 percent semillon and 10 percent malbec. Now maybe every winery in Argentina follows this scheme, and it’s like, “Oh, yeah, that,” but it was new to me. Made in the Charmat method of second fermentation in tank, this sparkling wine offers a radiant light gold color and an entrancing bouquet of acacia and jasmine, orange zest, green apple and roasted lemon. It’s very dry, brightly crisp and delicate, in fact downright elegant, as if its lustrous limestone-damp shale minerality were etched to transparency with silver leaf. Notes of citrus and toasted almond reveal a hint of something spicy and wild and tropical in the background, a tiny element of unexpected risk. Ideal for summer aperitifs and light appetizers. Very Good+. I would have guessed $20, but the price is $13, a Great Bargain.
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York. A sample for review.