Patagonia provides a very different Argentinian wine style for those raised on the heat of Mendoza: at 39 degrees of latitude, with sun-filled days and cold nights, the High Valley of the Rio Negro gives wines strong on finesse and aromatic character. If Rio Negro is a relative newcomer to many people’s wine repertoires, Humberto Canale has experience on its side. The winery was established as long ago as 1909, taking its name from its founder, the pioneering engineer who did so much to develop Patagonian agriculture. More than 100 vintages and four generations later, Guillermo Barzi Canale is at the helm, overseeing a range of elegant wines.
The grapes arrive in the winery in small containers. They are first carefully selected and de-stemmed, after which they undergo the process of cold pre-fermentative maceration for a period of 48 to 72 hours. The next step is the alcoholic fermentation, which takes place at controlled temperature, between 25° and 27°C in 9.000 L concrete vats, for a 20-day period, with periodical racking. The next step is the malolactic fermentation and later ageing in new French and American oak casks for 12 months, followed by bottling and further bottle ageing for 6 months before its release.
This wine presents an attractive purplish red colour, intense and deep. On the nose, the notes of mature prunes and ripe red fruits combine with hints of vanilla and toasted bread thanks to the ageing in oak. It has a good structure in the mouth, long and well rounded, very powerful. It is a big wine, apt to be enjoyed during memorable occasions. Its character makes it the ideal wine to pair with many different types of dishes.
Some food pairing suggestions are red meats, Brie cheese, goat's cheese, and rich chocolate desserts.