Fierce rivalry and competition.
The three most important wine provinces in Patagonia are Río Negro, Neuquén & La Pampa, which are all based in the North West in the valleys between the Neuquén river and the correlating mountains. Río Negro is a more traditional set up producing a typically old fashioned style of Malbec, Big, Inky, full bodied reds, while the Neuquén is a much younger outlet and produces cooler-climate style elegant wines... Familia Schroeder are a perfect example of Argentina striving to reach a modern way of producing Malbec with its new approach, the focus with these wines is pure and simple. Bright red fruit and spices instead of oak. The tannins are spiky, yet the texture is soft and round.
It's neighboring producers in Mendoza actually receive 45 minutes of sun less per day than Patagonia due to the sheer size of Argentina from North to South, this results in a fair amount of extra sun for the Patagonian producer over a growing season before harvest sets in.
What does this extra sun time bring to the wines?
Río Negro & Neuquén even La Pampa together, have more than 4,550 ha of cultivated vineyards. It is important to know that this region has frenzied winters and tranquil summers with cool nights, producing a combination of sugar, acidity and a basket of aromas. Due to the extra sun this region allows a slow and lengthy ripening of it's grapes. The altitude of its vineyards range from 300 to 500 meters above sea level which is a big game changer in some of the pricing of these Malbec's. Efficient harvesting pays dividends to our pockets and provides that little extra in-terms of value for money, plant the vines 800 - 900 meters above sea level and the harvesting costs become much steeper. (pardon the pun) These personality traits of this particular region allow Patagonian wines to be elegant in flavour and aromatically intense.
These regions are also producing some excellent Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Semillón, as its staple white grapes, and Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir for the discerning red wine drinkers. I particularly find their Chardonnay brings excellent value for money.
S.Blend: Familia Schroeder, Patagonia, Argentina.
This particular Malbec is on of my favorites and so it should be, Such an unusual blend of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% of Malbec, Intense doesn't even begin to scratch the surface with this wine. Red wine of deep bright red colour with some violet hints.This blend features a complex nose. Ripe red fruits aromas such as plums, sour berries and cassis, gently combined with floral and spicy nuances. Delicate vanilla and chocolate tones were developed during long ageing in french oak barrels. Sophisticated mouth-feel and remarkable elegance. The wine expands on the palate letting the flavors linger persistently. We highly recommended decanting this wine and allowing it to breathe for at least 3 hours prior to serving.
Alpataco Chardonnay Selection: Familia Schroeder, Patagonia, Argentina.
A great value Chardonnay, showing a greenish yellow color hues. On the nose is citrus aromas blend harmoniously with floral notes and tropical fruits. A touch of oak brings elegant nuances vanilla and white chocolate. The palate is fruity and fresh, with good acidity and well balanced.
Saurus Barrel Fermented Malbec: Familia Schroeder, Patagonia, Argentina.
We use this Malbec for a multitude of events, wine tastings and private dinners... This wine never fails to impress. Pound for pound the best Malbec on the market right now! A deep ruby red colour with a hint of violet. The combination of individually selected blocks of intense Malbec fermented in subtley toasted new oak barrels gives full ripened fruit aromas with strong plum and cassis gently backed with floral and spiced nuances. This is a firm, well structured wine with hints of vanilla and chocolate, a soft and full mouth feel with a long lingering finish. Makes a perfect match with roasted lamb, grilled sausages or steak au poivre. Decanting recommended.
Saurus Pinot Noir Patagonia Select: Familia Schroeder, Patagonia, Argentina.
As previously mentioned this particular grape is not usually associated with Argentina, however this Pinot Noir from Patagonia is an absolute belter! For the production of the Saurus line only the best grapes were selected to reflect the personality of the vines. The ageing process in French oak barrels adds distinctive features and greater complexity to the wine.
Deep red tones to the eye and the nose has plenty of floral aromas, combined with red fruit scents such as redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries. Mushrooms and mineral aromas stand out together with some vanilla and cocoa notes. This Pinot Noir presents ultra fine tannins and fruity nuances.