The Gouguenheim name conjures up visions of magnificent museums and fabulous works of art. Although Patricio Gouguenheim, owner and winemaker of one of Argentina’s fastest growing wineries, appears to have no apparent connection to the more famous artistic namesake, he is an outstanding, internationally recognized artist whose masterworks are his wines. We have been watching Patricio’s winery over the past five years, tasting the wines each vintage, and are thrilled to be able to bring you one of Patricio's finest works to date: a limited production of Valle Escondido Malbec.
The winery has a magic allocation in the highly sought after Tupungato Valley that lays some seventy kilometers to the southwest of Argentina’s wine capital of Mendoza. Tupungato Valley and nearby Valle Escondido (meaning Hidden Valley) are higher than Mendoza. They are situated in the shadows of the towering snow capped Andes from where melted snow is sluiced into irrigation aqueducts to be drawn as needed to water the nearby vines. At more than 3,000 feet above sea level, Gouguenheim’s vineyards enjoy the perfect balance of sunshine and water from snow melt, which results in beautifully ripe, healthy fruit that can be picked when it has reached perfect phenolic maturity. Unlike in many regions of the world, where the fear of rain and moisture forces the picking date or actual rain wreaks havoc with grapes that are ripe and close to ready for picking, rain is almost non-existent in this part of Mendoza and sunshine is guaranteed 300 or more days each year. With sun bathed days and cool nights the grapes of this magical valley can linger longer on the vine developing fuller, rounder, more mature flavors, which get translated into wines of generous fruit, soft ripe tannins, and refreshing acidity. There is hardly a more perfect place in the world to grow grapes than Patricio Gouguenheim’s hidden corner of Mendoza!
The world has awakened to Argentina’s preeminence in wine, resulting in the past five years in a wave of exports to the United States and Europe. The reason for this surge is the quality of wine flowing from Argentina represents today some of the best value in the world of wine. Malbec in particular has captured the attention of the wine drinking public and is universally acclaimed as Argentina's flagship wine. Argentine Malbec, a grape whose origin is Cahors in France, yields a deep, dark potion similar in color to the “Black Wine” of Cahors, but Argentine Malbec is thankfully more endearing and less abrasive in tannin than its French counterpart, especially when young. Moreover, in its new found home among the mountain valleys of Mendoza, Malbec has blossomed into a wine that can deliver extraordinary flavor, value, and even finesse.