Salentein has just released new vintages of its wines grown in the Uco Valley of Mendoza, Argentina. Today we get to try them alongside two wines from the Pyros label, which are also produced by Salentein but are made with Malbec grapes grown in the Pedernal Valley in San Juan. Let’s give them a try.
2018 Salentein Reserve Chardonnay – Quite good, particularly considering the price. The wine pours light yellow with a light green tinge. The nose shows lime, green apple, and butter. On the palate there is a really well balanced mix of fruit, acid, wood, and minerality. Green apples and bright acidity come first, followed by buttery oak and caramel, and the finish is fairly long and flinty. This wine will appeal to fans of California Chardonnay. A- / $19
2017 Salentein Single Vineyard La Pampa Malbec – This single vineyard Malbec pours a deep ruby color and shows a light nose of blackberries, dusty cocoa, and tobacco. The palate is similar with integrated notes of blueberries and cocoa. The wine shows medium acidity and finishes with gentle, drying tannins. This is an enjoyable Malbec, but it lacks the complexity and the intensity I look for in a Malbec showcasing a single vineyard and at this price point. B+ / $58
2016 Salentein Numina Gran Corte – 65% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Inky purple, almost black in color, this blend has a big nose of plum, cassis, and light cocoa. The palate closely follows the nose for a full bodied, fruit forward wine. The finish is a bit short, showing lingering, gentle tannins. B+ / $41
2016 Pyros Appellation Valle de Pedernal Malbec – This wine opens with a light aroma of blackberries. The palate then surprises with bright, bracing acidity, followed by more blackberry notes, providing a fairly straightforward fruity character. B / $23
2014 Pyros Single Vineyard Block No. 4 Malbec – Dark purple in the glass with ruby highlights, this wine has aromas of blackberry, currants, and cardamom. On the palate it is bright and fruity, opening with blackberries, cranberry tartness, and dark chocolate, along with nice acidity. It shows medium tannins for a dry, enjoyable finish. B+ / $42