Hand-harvested, fermentation took place in small concrete bins with wild yeasts, followed by malolactic in used French barrels. Post-fermentation the wine was racked into a concrete egg for maturing and fining.
In appearance it is pale garnet, almost akin to a mature Burgundy. The nose is a wonderfully complex under-stated affair with delicate notes of wild strawberries and hibiscus flowers; tantalizing. On the palate, it is similarly coy and beguiling, laced through with beautiful acidity, delicious summer berry flavours with sensitive tannins; all told a masterpiece in balance, weight and structure and, again, reminiscent of a truly top-drawer Pinot Noir from Burgundy.
These Trousseau vines might be the oldest in the world. They were registered in 1932, thus the reference on the label, but it’s reckoned they were planted at least 30 years before that date. (And of course the oldest vines in the Jura were devastated by Phylloxera.) The vineyard is a single hectare plot on the banks of the Rio Negro close to this old, recently refurbished winery.
The intention here is not, however, to make a me-too wine. Rather, this is distinctly and very proudly Patagonian, and Patagonian first and foremost rather than Argentine. Down here in the Rio Negro, Patagonia’s finest region, at relatively low attitude in Argentine terms (approximately 600 metres above sea level), with the river’s influence and the biggest thermal amplitude in the country it is possible to make wines with fantastic ripeness that also possess a natural tendency towards elegance and finesse. We look forward to seeing more wines like this from Patagonia, wines that really do express a genuine sense of terroir, combined with excellent winemaking.