2017 Ver Sacrum GSM Chacayes
Region: Uco Valley > Mendoza > Argentina
Grapes: 70% Garnacha, 15% Monastrell, 15% Syrah
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming; 4000 ft altitude, rocky limestone soils; co-fermented w/ 50% stem inclusion, 14 days maceration, then 20 days fermentation in 3000L unlined cement egg, aged 8 months in neutral French oak followed by 12 months in bottle; 13% ABV; 600 cases
Winemaker: Eduardo Soler
New winemakers are inspired by many things – most often an experience with a particular wine, or style of wine – they then pick up the skills and understanding of vines and terroir. Eduardo Soler came to become a winemaker after being inspired by the mountains of Argentina. He is an avid mountaineer who has climbed multiple famous peaks and worked ski patrol in Aspen, Colorado and Mendoza for many years. At one point he visited the Gredos mountains near Madrid, Spain where he tasted high altitude Garnacha and knew that he could make this work in his home of Argentina. He returned in 2012 to plant vines at over 4000 feet in the Uco Valley of Mendoza. Mendoza is not new to viticulture as you likely know – we’ve all seen the ubiquitous critter labels scattered about at the grocery store- however nearly 50% of the land is planted to Malbec. Mostly shitty Malbec, farmed conventionally, destined for supermarket shelves around the world.
Eduardo showed up with the idea to plant Rhone varietals, which pretty much didn’t exist in Argentina. His winemaking is similarly different than we might expect from the average Argentinian wine – completely low intervention with native yeast fermentations, short macerations and an explicit exclusion of pumpovers that increase extraction and tannin. His GSM blend is sooo easy to drink – herbaceous and floral, withbright, lifted red cherry notes and fine, delicate tannins. It’s spry and lively while still packing a plush fruit punch. We probably won’t be scaling any mountains any time soon, but we’re totally down for enjoying a bottle or two of the wine that Eduardo’s mountains inspired!