From: Mendoza, Argentina
Taste: As you uncork the 2020 Ver Sacrum Monastrell, the bright nose of sweet black cherry and cocoa greets you, drawing you into a captivating tasting journey. The palate is soft and round, punctuated with hints of tobacco and dried leaves. The finish is as irresistible as it is long, enticing you to indulge in yet another glass.
Pairing: Given the wine's bright fruitiness, soft tannins, and underlying notes of cocoa and tobacco, it lends itself beautifully to various food pairings.
To complement the sweetness of the black cherry notes, consider pairing this wine with dishes that feature roasted red fruits, such as a cherry-glazed duck or a pork tenderloin with a blackberry sauce.
The tobacco and dried leaf notes provide a beautiful contrast to dishes with a hint of spice or smokiness. Think along the lines of a smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken (check out the recipe below) or a grilled steak with a spicy chimichurri sauce.
The wine's round mid-palate and juicy finish also make it a splendid accompaniment for rich, savory dishes. An earthy mushroom risotto or a hearty lamb stew would create a beautiful harmony of flavors.
Lastly, for those seeking vegetarian options, consider a dish like a roasted eggplant and bell pepper ratatouille, as the wine's bright acidity would provide a lovely counterpoint to the richness of the vegetables.
Smoke-Roasted Chicken Thighs With Paprika
By Sam Sifton
About. If you are seeking an extraordinary encounter with Argentine wine, look no further than the 2020 Ver Sacrum Monastrell. This gem, hailing from Los Chacayes in the renowned Uco Valley, Argentina, embodies the transformative journey that this region has undertaken towards producing exquisite, high-elevation wines.
The Ver Sacrum Journey
Ver Sacrum, started by Eduardo Soler and two of his friends in 2012, represents a bold pursuit of a wine-making dream that goes against the grain. Their winemaking philosophy centers on crafting fresh, low-alcohol, lighter skin contact wines, resulting in products that are honest, easy-drinking, and astoundingly delightful.
This particular bottle is 100% Monastrell (Mourvèdre), painstakingly hand-harvested from a single vineyard within the Los Chacayes IG in the Uco Valley. From the vineyard to the winery, the process is intimate and minimalistic, with foot crushing, native yeast fermentation, and no pump overs or filtration.
Eduardo Soler, who returned to Mendoza after adventures in mountaineering and ski patrolling across Aspen and Mendoza, reconnected with some of Argentina's most avant-garde growers. He embodies the adventurous spirit of the Ver Sacrum team, which is expressed in the wines they produce.
Named after an ancient ceremony, the Ver Sacrum, which symbolized the founding of a new tribe and the beginning of new art and vine, their venture emulates this spirit of audacity and the desire to create something new. As Soler puts it, "We renew this ancient vow, with the audacity to create something new. This is our Ver Sacrum."
Exploring Argentina’s High-Elevation Uco Valley
Sebastián Zuccardi, an ardent advocate for Uco Valley's high-elevation terroirs, describes the wines produced here as "mountain wines." The unique combination of calcium carbonate-rich, alluvial soils at high elevations gives Uco Valley wines a distinctive freshness, mineral drive, and energy, deviating from the conventional fruity
Malbecs associated with Mendoza.
The last two decades have witnessed significant growth in the Uco Valley, as winemakers continue to push boundaries, experimenting with higher elevations and different grape varietals. Producers, like Ver Sacrum, are leveraging the distinctive terroir to create wines with a fresh new character that represents the region's unique potential.
Chacayes: The Home of the Ver Sacrum Monastrell
Chacayes, the home of the 2020 Ver Sacrum Monastrell, was granted Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2018. It has been a hotbed of innovation for years, with producers pushing the boundaries of winemaking in pursuit of freshness, acidity, and organic farming.
Eduardo Soler's pursuit of Rhône grapes in Chacayes with cuttings from an old Maipu planting is a testament to the region's versatility. Ver Sacrum's wines are characterized by a distinctive cool-climate character that challenges Argentina's reputation for producing only overripe, high-alcohol wine.
The 2020 Ver Sacrum Monastrell is more than just an extraordinary wine. It embodies the audacious spirit of its makers and the distinctiveness of its origin. For those eager to explore the paradigm-shifting wines from Argentina's high-elevation regions, this wine serves as a perfect introduction to this exciting chapter in Argentine viticulture. Its fresh, low-alcohol profile and long, juicy finish will undoubtedly have you reaching for another glass.
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