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8th Wine: Clos de Los Siete

  • Clos de los Siete is an ambitious project.
  • The project began in 1998. The idea was to join a number of investors in a project in Argentina. The notable difference in this project was that the separate investors would have their own vineyards and their own bodega, albeit all within the borders of the property.
  • Bodega means warehouse, cellars.
  • Originally seven, but now five state of the art wineries; up to 2,000 acres of vineyards; $60 million in investment; all with the aim to produce some of Argentina’s greatest wines.
  • Siete means seven. Maybe the name should change to Clos de Los Cinco. Cinco meaing five.
  • Each winery on the property is an exercise in architectural expression as well as the stuff of winemakers’ dreams.
  • The buildings themselves express the personalities of their owners, and no doubt their architects as well.
  • The main mover behind the project is Michel Rolland, who, following 15 years as a consultant in Argentina, concluded that this was the country to produce great wine outside of Europe.
  • “What we are looking for” claims Rolland, “is to make wines equal to the best in the world, while retaining their own Argentine identity.”
  • With the knowledge that Rolland’s 15 years in Argentina brought to them, the partners had a good idea of the property for which they were looking.
  • Quality wines, believed Rolland, would come from the poorer soils closer to the Andes range, at around 3,300 feet of altitude.
  • Being closer to the mountains would also provide some protection against the devastating golf ball hailstorms that frequent the region.
  • A northern aspect would give more sunlight hours. The vineyard needed to be on open plain with good air circulation to combat the region’s humidity and possibility of frosts.
  • At the end of 1998, they found their 2,100 acres of virgin land that met the criteria.
  • Clos de la Siete, a blend that Michel Rolland personally puts together each year from fruit provided by each of the partner wineries.
  • This vintages blend, 2008 is 56% Malbec, 21% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Shiraz, 2% Petit Verdot
  • Dark garnet in colour, this wine smells of cassis and well oiled leather. In the mouth aggressive tannins wrap the tongue in a leathery fist while flavours of wet dirt, cassis, and dried black cherries fuse into a rich mulch of tastiness. Those who appreciate something a bit more austere may really enjoy this wine.
  • Pair with a leg of lamb, great!
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