The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below). Frustratingly, at the time of that edition's release, there were fewer than 120 bottles still available at the UK importer, and we now move to the 2016. Given Zorzal's mighty pedigree, this 2016 vintage is unlikely to disappoint.
Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review
Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley, often hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina. The terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non-invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.
The vines are grown at high altitude, drip irrigated vineyards in Gualtallary, in the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea-level in the highest vinegrowing zone in the Province of Mendoza, at the foot of Tupungato volcano. This zone is characterized by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 17°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.
The grapes were placed in cement egg-shaped fermenters to allow the alcoholic fermentation to take place. The native yeasts were left to start working naturally. The egg shape of the fermenter facilitates vinification without the need for numerous pump-overs. Thanks to its ovoid shape, everything inside is constant movement, allowing gentler and more homogeneous extractions. Once the fermentation was complete, a maceration with the skins took place over 40 days and the wine was then removed from the tank before being returned to the same egg shaped vessel for 12 months further ageing (that is, no oak is used to preserve fruit characteristics and flavours).
A complex and mineral example of Cabernet Franc (100%) with distinct herbaceous notes such as green pepper, enhanced with black pepper spice. Restrained, with a refreshing, silky structure and a long, fine finish.