2016 Familia Schroeder Alpataco Patagonia Pinot Noir, Argentina
Alpataco is the name of a thorny bush found in Patagonia in the South of Argentina that, according to the producing winery Familia Schroeder, “embodies the spirit of resilience needed to prosper in the endless Patagonian plains.”
Dry sunny days, cool nights, important temperature variations and frequent winds characterize this rugged terroir allowing grapes to ripen still preserving freshness of aromas.
Learn more about this wine’s origin at Patagonia wine region, Argentina
The Pinot Noir grapes from this Alpatago were hand-picked from the winery’s vineyards located in the Neuquén River Valley.
After fermentation, 40% of the wine was aged for 3 months in oak wine barrels, while the remaining 60% was kept in stainless steel tanks to preserve fruity freshness.
So How Good is Alpatago Patagonia Pinot Noir?
This Patagonia Pinot comes in a delicate bright red color, quite light in absolute like is typical of Pinot Noir. What makes it particularly elegant to look at though, are subtle purple hues making it look like a berry juice (which it is some will argue, but more like a blueberry juice that a fermented grape one!).
In wide wine glasses, adapted to tasting Pinot Noir like the Spiegelau Willsberger Anniversary ‘Burgunder’ I used here (see pictures), the wine smells stunningly fresh and vibrant. I’ve tried in glasses with a narrower opening, and it doesn’t smell as lively and lifted, and more restrained which is a shame!
The nose is filled with fresh strawberry, somewhat of a lollies-like strawberry aroma as well, deepen and sweetened by delicate scents of vanilla and coconut oil. Touches of white pepper, clove, and black olive add further depth.
Extremely lifted and fruity a nose overall, rarely smelt at this level of vibrancy and upfront lightness. Impressive and tempting!
The palate brings in a burst of crisp and juicy acidity, somewhat combined with a sense of saltiness which is what makes it feels juicy and salivating. This outstanding feature underlines the crisp flavors of blueberry and citrus juice.
Yes, it’s fruity to taste like red berries, but also a little sour like cranberries. More importantly, there is a wealth of citrus notes that pair well with the ‘citric’ acidity. Lime and grapefruit flavors are lively and surprising, not this often tasted in red wines. Tasty and delicious!
From the mid-palate on though, the wine reveals some power from what seems to be alcoholic strength. This brings out some warmth and generates a second burst of intense savors heading into the finish. Apple eau-de-vie flavors (or apple brandy like Calvados) and sweet spices populate a layered and powerful finish. Picture an apple-crumble to get a sense of this wine’s after-taste, it’s not far off!
A super-tasty, quite exuberant and powerful Pinot Noir, that combines elegance of utterly fresh and juicy flavors with the refined personality of a Southern Hemisphere Pinot. Layered, spicy and quite complex, it delights with its upfront approachability and yumminess, yet complemented with some serious depth.
A wine to experience it is…
Drink now and within 2 years to make the most of its fruity freshness.
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