Alamos – Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina

May 11, 2011

2008 Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon

We had beautiful gnocchi for my farewell dinner at home before leaving for Taiwan again. On my way home from the office I dashed into a wine shop and bought a bottle of red. I selected a ‘2008 Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon’ from Mendoza, Argentina. I just wanted something else.

It turned out to be a good choice. The wine complemented the meal and harmonized well with the gnocchi in tomatoes. I loved the fine aroma of the wine, the long finish and the intense fruit flavours of red berries with some spicy notes.

Bodega Alamos produces a wide range of wines. The grapes are sourced from the Catena family vineyards in Mendoza located on high-altitude sites (3,000 to 5,000 feet). The chief wine-maker of Bodega Alamos is Felipe Stahlschmidt. I could not think of a more German name.

The price of the wine in Bangkok was, as are all wine prices, ludicrous (25 EURO/bottle). However, given the Catena family legacy regarding the production of the Malbec variety, I will try their Malbec wines next.


Wine Bars in Jakarta: Cork and Screw Wine Concept

March 24, 2008

It’s an unfortunate name, I agree, but the place is one of the most hip, the most vibrant and the most desirable place for a wine aficionado in Jakarta. It is a very relaxed place at the same time. Cork and Screw Wine Concept is a joint project of Vin + (one of the main wine shops in Jakarta, www.vinplus.biz) and other partners.

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We had the opportunity to visit it for the first time during their one-year-anniversary celebrations which were held recently. We liked the food and the wines and last Saturday was the perfect day to come back and visit again.

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One orders the food (provided by the KOI restaurant chain) and selects the wine from the many boxes where it is on offer at retail prices.

We had ordered dishes “around” beef tenderloin fillets and I selected a ‘2005 Clos de los Siete’, Mendoza, Argentina by Michel Rolland. This wine has 14.5% alcohol and is a blend of different varieties (on the back of the label it said, 45% Malbec, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet and Shiraz each) by Michel Rolland. His wines from Argentina have already earned a reputation and the 2005 we sampled was awarded 90/91 points by some wine tasters.

Michel Rolland (born 24 December 1947) is the foremost wine consultant from Bordeaux with more than a hundred clients all over the world. He owns several vineyard and winery properties in France (Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, Fronsac), South Africa, Spain and Argentina.

The Clos de los Siete is a collaborative project of seven French wine producers under the leadership of Michel Rolland. They have collectively about 850 ha of which about half is currently under vines. Malbec is the dominant variety planted.

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The label shows a star with seven points representing the seven partners in the venture.

The price was 364,000 Indonesian Rupiah which corresponds to about 25.7 € (about 41 US$). When I researched it on the internet the next day, I found that it is sold in the UK for about 12 £ and in other places in Europe for 13 €. The taxes in Indonesia are high, so I did not mind the retail price at Cork and Screw.

According to information from the net, the grapes are handpicked and sorted twice, both before and after destemming. The grapes are cold soaked in steel tanks and fermented for five to seven days at 26 to 28 degrees. After malolactic fermentation, about one third of the wine is matured in vats and the rest in new French oak barrels. The grape mix for the 2005 vintage is sometimes also given as 40% Malbec, and 20% each for Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz. May that how it be.

I know that generally Malbec does not possess a strong finish; it is rather short at the end. I hoped that in this blend that would be less of an issue but it was not. I still liked the wine but should have chosen something with a stronger, and longer finish.

The wine is elegant, dry, full bodied with a moderate amount of tannins and generally well balanced. It displays aromas of plum, blueberry, chocolate and violet notes. However, its finish is anything but long. So nothing lingers around on the palate, which is a pity. Maybe a less of Malbec grapes in the blend would improve this deficiency.

The evening at Cork and Screw was a delight. I can only highly recommend the place to all the Jakartan wine and food lovers. See you there, hopefully soon.

Address:
Cork and Screw Wine Concept
Wisma Kodel, Ground Floor,
Jl. H.R.Rasuna Said Kav.B-4,
Jakarta 12920
Ph.: (021) 5290 2030.
Open: 12.00 – 24.00 WIB (Sunday-Thursday) and 12.00 – 02.00 WIB (Friday-Saturday).