Friday, May 13, 2011
Bodega Renacer: Enamored with Enamore
--Bounty Hunter catalog
A few days before I left for Argentina, I recieved the latest copy of the Bounty Hunter wine catalog. Within the pages, I found a review of the Bodega Renacer Enamore, an Amarone style wine, and it certainly caught my eye. I knew that I would be visiting that winery, so I hoped that I would get to sample the Enamore, to determine whether it lived up to the sensual review.
Bodega Renacer is a relatively new winery in Argentina, having been established in 2002, and has a Chilean pedigree. The family which owns the winery is from Chile, and had worked in a Chilean winery but one which emphasized quantity over quality. In time, they chose to move to Mendoza, to create their own winery where they could produce more quality-driven wines. Their name, Renacer, means "rebirth."
We also tasted through their three level of Malbec, including their entry level, Reserva and Gran Reserva. In general, they were big, tannic wines, the type you need to drink with a thick, juicy steak. They also generally had lots of black fruit flavors with plenty of spice. But, I think, at least for me, they were all surpassed by the Enamore.
Marilisa Allegrini visited the Mendoza region, she felt that it possessed the perfect condition to produce Amarone, so Bodega Renacer, in collaboration with Allegrini Winery, decided to give it a try. Their first vintage was 2006. For Amarone, a process called appassimento is used, where grapes are dried out, traditionally on straw mats, for about three months. The grapes lose both water and malic acid, while there is an intense concentration of flavors and sugars. To make Enamore, the grapes are also allowed to dry out on straw mats, as pictured above. Due to the climate in Mendoza though, the drying process only takes about three weeks.
The Enamore ($30) is a blend of 62% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Bonarda, and 4% Syrah, though the blend may vary year from year. It spends about one year in new French oak and has an alcohol content of 14.5%. This wine captivated me from my first taste. Though it is a big wine, with strong tannins, it has a silky and hedonistic backbone which I found especially alluring. The taste was complex, with a melange of ripe plum, dried raisens, chocolate notes, dusty spice, and more. The lengthy, pleasing finish seduced my tastebuds, beckoning me like a siren to seek more of this velvety wine. At this price, I think it is an excellent value, delivering as much as some wines at twice the price. Yes, I was quite enamored with this Enamore.
Cavas Wine Lodge, and I thoroughly was delighted by the Enamore with lamb ravioli. This wine gets my highest recommendation and I will be seeking it out too.