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2013 Pulenta Estate Chardonnay, Mendoza
Pulenta Estate is owned and run by brothers, Hugo and Eduardo Pulenta. The estate is situated in Alto Agrelo in Mendoza, Argentina's main wine producing region. This excellent site makes wines of real class and distinction.
The 135 hectares are planted with Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, these varieties are used as both single varieties and blended to make wines such as the excellent Gran Corte.
Pulenta enjoys excellent climate conditions and a fantastic panoramic aspect from up to 980 metres above sea level. Irrigation comes from melted water from the Andes Mountains, and the whole process is de facto organic! The Pulenta family make excellent Malbec, increasingly recognised as Argentina's signature grape variety, enhancing its natural exuberant fruitiness with discipline and structure. The Estate Chardonnay benefiting from a completely manual harvest and barrel fermentation in French wood.
The brothers' philosophy is expressed thus: "Making a great wine is an act of generosity, considering always the one who will taste it. Our mission is to produce limited series of great wines, proudly made in Argentina."
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
With its western borderline dominated by the Andes and its 146,000 hectares of vineyards representing 70% of the country’s wine production, Mendoza is Argentina’s biggest and most important wine-growing province.
Mendoza’s vineyards are a haven to Old World varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Bonarda, Sangiovese, Barbera, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc andChenin Blanc. The province’s signature grape is Malbec.
Mendoza still produces large amounts of inexpensive wine for domestic consumption, as well as grape concentrate, but the sub-region of Luján de Cuyo stands out with some lovely velvety Malbecs, while the cool, gravelly Maipú is best for Cabernet Sauvignon.
The most exciting area in Mendoza for fine whites, however, is the Uco Valley, that has the highest vineyards, up to 1,200 metres above sea level. Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Chenin, Pinot Grigio and Torrontés fare particularly well in its cool climate. Its sub-region of Tupungato produces Argentina’s best Chardonnay.
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