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Bodega Renacer Enamore

Last edited on 3/24/2012 by cliffkol
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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."

The winery is located in Perdriel, in the foothills of the Andes, and it is stunningly beautiful with an incredible view of the mountains. For wine productuion, they use state of the art Italian technology, with both stainless steel and cement, with epoxy, tanks. They produce mainly Malbec-based wines, purchasing about 60% of their grapes they use, thus allowing them to sample numerous terroirs, including Uco Valley, Lujan de Cuyo and Medrano. They own about 29 hectares of Malbec vineyards. One of the vineyards they lease originated in 1918, and these old vines end up in their highest quality wines. Each year, they produce about 100,000 cases of wine. It is interesting to note that their Malbecs are almost never 100% Malbec, but usually have a tiny percentage of some other grape added. The winery is also a pioneer in the use of precision viticulture, which attempts to maximize vineyard quality by measuring local variation with science and technology. They have worked with Pedro Parra, the famous Chilean soil scientist, to help determine the nature of their soil and terroir, using tools such as sonar. This leads to the creation of detailed vineyard maps, so that the winery can best understand where specific grapes will be the best.

Bodega Renacer has three levels of Malbec, including their entry level, Reserva and Gran Reserva. In general, they are big, tannic wines, the type you need to drink with a thick, juicy steak. They also generally have lots of black fruit flavors with plenty of spice.

The Enamore though, surpasses those.When 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 name of the wine, Enamore, means "to be in love" and, cleverly, it is also an anagram for Amarone. On the label, the red string near the top represents Italy, the Old World, while the orange string at the bottom represents Argentina, the New World. Both strings then meet at the "M" which stands for Mendoza, where the two wineries came together. Approximately 5,000 cases are produced each year, with about 60% being exported to the U.S. and 20% to Italy. This is probably the only Amarone style wine produced anywhere in Argentina.

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. The Enamore would pair well with steak, lamb, and other hearty dishes.