2019 Escala Humana "Livvera" Bequignol Tinto
Region: Tupungato < Uco Valley < Argentina
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; old, dry-farmed, super high-altitude vines on clay loam and sandy soils; whole cluster 7-week maceration on skins then 2 months in concrete before aging 8 months in used 225L French Oak Barrels; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 13% ABV; 700 cases
Winemaker: Germán Masera
Escala Humana Wine was started in 2015 by husband and wife team Ayelén and Germán Massera, who still holds down a day job, making wine with the Michelini Brothers (producers of some of Argentina's coolest natty wines like this). Germán became interested in the history of the Uco Valley and it’s forgotten varietals like Bequignol – an old French variety planted in Argentina which has pretty much disappeared -- just over 600 hectares remain today. So he and his wife bought some old, high-altitude vineyards in El Zampal and started their own project on the side, making just a few different wines, like this Bequignol, which kind of blew our minds.
Bequignol s one of the coolest, most unique grapes we’ve ever come across -- and we're total grape nerds. It smells like coffee-infused Cab Franc, and tastes like a Cab Franc-y Beaujolais with some cocoa nibs thrown in. The black fruit is juicy but light-bodied, tannins are polished and silky, and deeply etched mineral notes play nicely with peppery herbs and purple flowers. You've never had an Argentine wine -- or any wine -- like this, we promise. Super fun for spring. SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED.