We went with a group of friends to Mendoza for a 2 and half days. If you love wine and good food this is a must trip for you. Here was our wonderful itinerary for the three days (do click on all the links for so much more information):
Day 1 – Getting settled in Mendoza
1500: Late lunch at Casa Gran Enemigo. This is one of my favorite wines of Argentina and lunch here didn’t disappoint. It was a great 4 course meal with the tasting of your choice. Of course we chose the Experiencia Gran Enemigo, which included the top three brands of the label: Gran Enemigo Blend, Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard Agrelo and Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard Gualtallary ( 98 Robert Parker points).
All three wines are spectacular, but my favorite was definitely the Guatallary! Here are some pictures of the wonderful place where the restaurant is:
8:oopm Dinner at 1884 Mallman – Because really one should always follow a heavy lunch with a heavy dinner ;). Just kidding it was kind of how our schedule happened and we were more than happy to oblige to going here. Ranked #42 in the LAtam 50 best, the restaurant lived up to and exceeded expectations. Set in a beautiful house , the restaurant and its parrillas are a beauty to behold. The food is awesome too, my entrana was spectacular!
DAy 2 – Valle de Uco – In Mendoza distances are significant so its best to take a region per day
10:00am: Diamandes – Part of the Clos de los 7 complex, Diamandes was our first stop and a wonderful site.
It is beautifully located next to the ice cap Andes:
The beautiful Winery was designed by Mendoza architects Mario Yanzón y Eliana Bórmida.
Our tasting room was also a sight to behold:
We tasted some beautiful wines including: DiamAndes de Uco Grande Reserve chardonnay, DiamAndes de Uco Grande Reserve (a couple of years) and DiamAndes de Uco Viognier. My favorite was of course the Grand Reserve. However I was actually most pleasantly surprised by the Cardonnay as I usually do not like white wine!
The winery inside was gorgeous, here are some pictures:
12:30pm: Monteviejo lunch: Our next stop was also in the Clos de los 7 complex, we had lunch at the Monteviejo Winery.
We had lunch at the restaurant on the third floor, with the tasting included. The food was not spectacular but the view was. As for the wines, unlike other houses that let you choose the type fo tasting you wanted, here it was more standard and not really the best wines (we had Lindaflor Malbec and Chardonay). We did manage to sweet talk them into giving us less white and trying one of the new musical inspired wines – Octava Alta, which i really enjoyed. However its a good spot to relax and take in the gorgeous views from the terrace.
Here are other pictures of the rest of the winery. our favorite part were the vines grown on the slanted ceiling of the building to provide natural insulation.
16:30: O. Fournier – Our last wine stop of the day was O.Fournier, another Beautiful building designed by Eliana Bórmida.
The Cellar was spectacular, one of the largest in the region, and the view from above was top notch. It apparently also serves as an art gallery and hosts concerts once a year.
In the tasting room we not only had some great wines but were privy to some wonderful paintings from past art galleries. The wines we had were B Crux Blend , Alfa Crux Blend
Alfa Crux Malbec and their Premier Malbec: O. Fournier. I had never tasted these wines and we were all very pleasantly surprised. Both the B And Alfa Blends were delicious and great value for money. the O Fournier, which is only sold in the winery was spectacular.
They have a restaurant on site with a beautiful lake behind it:
Like with most of our other tastings, a big stash was set up to take home:
20:00: Dinner at Siete Fuegos Restaurant at The Vines Hotel & Spa. The vines is a must to look at. Check out this view from the terrace of the restaurant:
As for the food, it was great too. We had a Wagyu vacio which was melt in your mouth and one of our friends was literally salivating! The only unfortunate thing was that since it wasnt summer yet the Siete Fuegos were not on, they were just working from the kitchen.
Day 3 – Lujan de Cuyo
1100: Cobos – My favorite Argentinean wine before coming to Mendoza and the winery and its tasting did not disappoint. View from the tasting Room (with my shadow)
We did the Tributo al Vinedo Marchiori tasting. The reason for that is because it was the only Tasting that provided a taste of the Cobos Malbec, their top wine -so it was a must for us. But with the great explanation that our guide did, we saw the true meaning of the tasting – the Marchiori Vineyard is where the cellar is and it was the first vineyard that they had. Most of the felino, cocodrilo and blends are done with multiple vines, but all the wines we tasted were single origin bottles so it was quite special. We also added the Felino, because we wanted to try their budget line. Wines we had:
- Felino – For a budget line spectacular. Some of my friends even liked it as much as the Bramare line
- Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Chardonnay
- 2014 Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Malbec– Super wine of which i got myself quite a bit of bottles
- 2013 Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2013 Cobos Malbec, Marchiori Vineyard – As always it was spectacular. A wine that needs quite a bit of time to open, but when it does it’s a delight. Up to the level of the Volturno which is its most highly ranked wine, yet this being fully Malbec is even more my style.
and the beautiful view:
The whole range of Cobos wines:
1330: Picnic and Tasting at Altavista. Although definitely not our favorite wine of the trip, the concept of the picnic was fabulous. You had your little blanket and picnic, with a three wine tasting for a really respectable price.
The boxes were the picnic came were to die for, it even had the circles to put the wine glasses so they didn’t fall – super so cute.
We tasted the Alta Vista Rose, Alta Vista Premium Malbec and Bonarda
1530: Matervini – We had little to no expectations going into Matervini, having never heard of it before the trip, but coming highly recommended as it was the new venture of Santiago Achaval of Achaval Ferrer and their enologist after selling to the Russians. We were happily surprised and had a fabulous afternoon.
The whole vineyard is sustainable, with solar panels to provide all electricity.
Some pictures from the tour:
And the tasting location:
We had 4 wines.
- Antes Andes: Vina Canota
- Antes Andres: Valles Calchaquies
- Alteza – This one, grown in the heights of Salta was my favorite. lots of depth and body and a tobacco feel
Finally the wonderful view from the terrace (where we lounged for quite a bit)…
… and a cool video from their website
2030: Dinner at Azafran – To close off the trip a wonderful dinner at Azafran. Perfectly located 10 minute walk from the hotel we were staying at. It was cozy and delicious. The best part of the restaurant is the wine list. Instead of giving you a list they make you go into their little “cellar” and pick a wine. All the food we had was excellent, we decided to share lamp chops with risotto and a huge Chateaubriand to share.
As for the Hotel, we stayed at the Park Hyatt Mendoza, and I highly recommend it. Great service, location and beautiful rooms at a very decent price.