2014 Desierto 25 Sauvignon Blanc, Bodega del Desierto, Patagonia

2014 Desierto 25 Sauvignon Blanc, Bodega del Desierto, Patagonia

Product: 30349
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2014 Desierto 25 Sauvignon Blanc, Bodega del Desierto, Patagonia

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A tale of extreme winemaking (in a desert)
With a climate that winemaker Paul Hobbs describes as “like a blast furnace” with “frost, heat and driving winds”, it may stretch credulity to assert that it is not only possible to produce wine in the Patagonian desert, but also that it is actually incredibly good.

Despite the extremes of temperature, there are huge benefits that come with such a hostile environment – namely the absence of any disease or pest to trouble the plantings of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that are currently thriving.
While we stock four varietals, this Sauvignon comes especially highly rated by Tom Cannavan of wine-pages.com.

From the hinterlands of Patagonia comes this fresh, mineral Sauvignon Blanc. It is restrained in style, much more so than most New World examples at this price point, and it has a wet stone quality, reminiscent of the Loire Valley. There is an element of greengage fruit but it is the texture that marks this out as a great food wine. This offers excellent value, and something a bit different for those who seek a more subtle alternative to New World Sauvignon Blanc.
Catriona Felstead MW, New World Buyer

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Critics reviews

From relatively cool Patagonia in Argentina, hundreds of miles south of Mendoza, a handsomely packaged Sauvignon blanc that comes from barren dessert vineyards. This is Sauvignon in a much more European rather than Kiwi style, the nose flooded with citrus and flinty, stony minerals with just hints of the leafier character and some cool stone fruit and lime. In the mouth it is richly textured with its 14% alcohol, but that biting clarity continues, touches of leafiness, hints of tropicality, but driving through with that core of lemon, dry apple and salty ozone character. A fine Sauvignon.
Tom Cannavan, wine-pages.com, Nov 2015 Read more

About this WINE

Bodega del Desierto

Bodega del Desierto

Bodega del Desierto (winery of the desert) is located in the Patagonian desert in a town called ‘25 de Mayo’ (hence the reference to 25 in their wine names). It is a long, long way from any other wineries in the region of La Pampa. Here, the extreme climate and strong winds result in distinctive and elegant wines.

Patagonia has a very old, yet little known, viticultural tradition. It was one of the first locations selected in Argentina by the pioneers and immigrants on the XIX century, due to excellent conditions to produce high quality grapes for wine production. The later boom of local mass wine consumption (that reached its peak with 90 litres per capita in 1970) encouraged producers to move into northern locations with higher yield production and better transportation facilities (railroad to Buenos Aires, the main area of consumption). The viticultural potential of Patagonia was therefore kept almost unexploited for many years, till the Argentine reconversion to high quality wines in the eighties and nineties.

It was in 2000 that Armando and Maria Loson, brother and sister from an Argentine family, had the chance to lead a family project on the High Valley of the Colorado River area, north of Patagonia - south of La Pampa province. After a thorough study of the soil and weather that determined the suitability to produce high quality grapes, they decided to plant the vineyard. At first, the project was to sell the grapes to other wineries but after the impressive results of the first harvest they took the chance to produce under their own brands.

The soil is sandy and deep with variable content of stones. Its low organic matter content leads to restricted vine growth and to the natural development of premium grapes. The main characteristic is the mineral component that is noticeable in all Bodega del Desierto’s wines. The vine structure was designed by Mario Toso on trellis, with a double-cordon training system and a density of 3,500 plants per hectare using all drip irrigation with pure and clean melt water from the Andean Mountains, taken from the Colorado River. Irrigation is essential as the average annual rainfall here is only 200mm. The winemaker is Sebastian Cavagnaro and the consultant agronomist is Enzo Mugnani. Ex-Robert Mondavi/Opus One superstar consultant winemaker, Paul Hobbs (twice named Wine Personality of the Year by Robert Parker), has been working with the vineyard and the wines since 2003.

The geographic and climatic characteristics, with less than seven inches of rainfall a year, gave birth to the name Bodega del Desierto. Two of the most representative pictures of the soil inspired the design pattern for the labels. The virgin land where the vineyard was planted is still surrounded by 160 km of desert, ensuring a natural sanitation buffer and also maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem. In addition, the vineyard is located at the western end of the route 20 that connects Buenos Aires to Patagonia, well known as ‘ruta del desierto’ because of its isolated and long straight road with hardly anything from beginning to end.

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Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

An important white grape in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley that has now found fame in New Zealand and now Chile. It thrives on the gravelly soils of Bordeaux and is blended with Sémillon to produce fresh, dry, crisp  Bordeaux Blancs, as well as more prestigious Cru Classé White Graves.

It is also blended with Sémillon, though in lower proportions, to produce the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It performs well in the Loire Valley and particularly on the well-drained chalky soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where it produces bone dry, highly aromatic, racy wines, with grassy and sometimes smoky, gunflint-like nuances.

In New Zealand, Cloudy Bay in the 1980s began producing stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines with extraordinarily intense nettly, gooseberry, and asparagus fruit, that set Marlborough firmly on the world wine map. Today many producers are rivalling Cloudy Bay in terms of quality and Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand`s trademark grape.

It is now grown very successfully in Chile producing wines that are almost halfway between the Loire and New Zealand in terms of fruit character. After several false starts, many South African producers are now producing very good quality, rounded fruit-driven Sauvignon Blancs.

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