From: Baja California, Mexico
Blend: Merlot (60%) Malbec (40%)
Taste: This charming blend enchants with a nose that’s elegant yet intense, brimming with black fruit aromas such as prune and blackberry, juxtaposed with toasty, spicy notes of licorice and black pepper. On the palate, the richness of black fruits persists, with floral notes dancing in the backdrop. This wine achieves an admirable balance, characterized by a velvety texture and a persistent finish.
Pairing: This Vino Tinto pairs harmoniously with grilled or roasted foods. From steak to grilled octopus and braised short ribs, this wine’s robust character can stand up to a myriad of bold flavors. It can easily complement spicy dishes like taquitos, nachos, and enchiladas. Lastly, this Merlot+Malbec’s full-body and rich tannins make it an amazing wine to pair with rich casseroles and stews made with beef, pork, or lamb. Think pasties (see recipe below) and shepherd's pie.
Copper Country Pasties
Recipe from John Willoughby's great-aunt
About. Deep in the sun-soaked soils of Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico, an Italian man's journey has fostered a wine that elegantly showcases the potential of this burgeoning region. The man is Camillo Magoni, the vineyards are his life's work, and the wine is the captivating 2019 Casa Magoni Vino Tinto Merlot (60%) and Malbec (40%) blend.
Born in Morbegno, Italy, adjacent to the Swiss city of Engadina, Camillo Magoni's love for wine-making started at an early age. His passion was further solidified when he graduated from Piedmont's prestigious Scuola Enolgica Di Alba in 1961. Following a stint at the renowned Nino Negri de Chiuro winery in Valtellina, he accepted an invitation to travel across the Atlantic to Baja California, Mexico, and join L.A. Cetto’s winemaking team.
Over the next 40 years, Magoni rose to the pinnacle of Baja's growing wine industry, becoming an iconic personality with an affable, responsible, and prudent nature. His inquisitiveness and devotion to the local community, culture, traditions, and family values further solidified his position as a stalwart in the industry.
Magoni's meticulous cultivation of over a hundred grape varieties, from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon, formed the foundation for a sea-change in Baja California's wine culture. His vineyards supplied established wineries, helping them move away from high-alcohol reds while simultaneously developing nuanced white wines.
In 2012, an overabundance of grapes led Magoni to start making his own wines, initially shared among family and close friends. By 2016, his Casa Magoni wines were introduced to the broader market. Today, they produce around 21,000 cases annually, with Magoni's spirit of experimentation seen in their unique cuvées and trial batches.
Magoni's passion for viticulture has established his family as one of the largest growers in Valle de Guadalupe. With over 278 hectares under cultivation, including more than 110 different grape varietals, Magoni's vineyards stand as the largest experimental vineyards in the region. His influence has been profound; any future associations of Baja Norte with specific grape varietals will be testament to Magoni's time, resources, and shared wisdom.
One of Magoni's vinous wonders is the 2019 Casa Magoni Vino Tinto, a blend of Merlot and Malbec. These international varietals, quintessential to Bordeaux, have found a second home in Baja California. Merlot's universal adaptability pairs well with Malbec, Argentina's flagship grape, both cultivated with impressive results in Baja's valleys.
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