Twitter Taste Live – Did Someone Say… Salta ?!?

Vinted on September 9, 2009 binned in twitter taste live

Let’s get this straight right off the bat: the amount of ass that is being kicked right now by Twitter Taste Live is borderline-staggering.  having been involved with TTL since its humble beginnings, it’s sometimes hard for me to conceive that TTL is barely over a year old, and it’s become the de facto on-line social wine experience.  And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened.  And that’s awesome.

Last week, Twitter Taste Live embarked on another new edition to their lineup of events, pairing up with Wines of Argentina to kick-off a month-long focus on Argentina’s wine regions, beginning with the extreme northerly area of Salta and including tweets from the winemakers based in the area (specifically bodegas Etchart, Colomé & Michel Torino, including Victor Marcantoni, Thibaud Delmotte & Alejandro Nesman).

When you’re checking out the wines of Salta, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Many of the vines are old, planted on non-grafted rootstock brought over from France during the phylloxera epidemic in Europe.
  • Many of those vines are planted at some of the highest elevations in the world (regularly in excess of 5500 ft, some higher than 10,000 ft).

What does this mean for the wine? Typically, older vines yield less fruit, but the fruit they do provide is very concentrated in flavors and potential extract.  Higher elevations tend to accentuate diurnal temperature variations, which can help in ripening [Note: that statement may be incorrect – see comments].  As you might expect, some of the wines we tasted last week were concentrated and rich, but over the course of six wines (2 reds, 2 whites from each of the three featured producers) we were treated to a surprisingly wide spectrum of tastes and styles, especially when it came to the flagship Argentine varieties Malbec and Torrontes.  In fact, some of the Malbec was downright soft & fruity, and some of the Torrontes was elegant and almost refined.

It’s gotten me excited for the next round of tastings this week – hopefully we’ll see equally high quality and breadth of styles from the other winemaking regions of Argentina.  In any case, I think TTL is onto yet another winning strategy.

Read on for a recap of the twitter feed from last week’s tasting…

<a href=”;task=viewaltcast&amp;altcast_code=00318cd312″ mce_href=”;task=viewaltcast&amp;altcast_code=00318cd312″>Wines of Argentina TTL – Event #1</a>







  • 1WineDude

    Just received this correction in an email, wanted to share it:

    "I always heard they [elevations] lessen diurnal range, because cold air is heavier than warm air, which means it sinks down into the valleys at night leaving the mountaintops warmer. In California, mountains like Howell, Atlas Peak, Spring etc. have a smaller day-to-night temperature spread, while the valleys — Redwood is one of the more famous — can have 50 degree spreads in a 24 hour period. Also "which can help in ripening" — I never heard that diurnal spread helps ripen grapes. Heat ripens grapes. Low nighttime temps help maintain acidity, but that's different from ripeness."

    The second part about diurnal temp. differences helping to maintain acidity is certainly true, and what I meant to state in the blog post (but screwed it up!) was that the ripening is more even due to the temp. difference (i.e., better balance between acidity and ripe fruit flavors).

    I did a bit more research on the first point (whether or not higher elevations accentuate or lessen diurnal temp. differences), and found conflicting evidence:

    "One of the most important and beneficial factors in high elevation grapegrowing is a wide swing in diurnal temperature differences distinguished by lower night-time (cooling) temperatures. Grapes grown at higher altitudes can develop a more
    favorable phenolic profile with higher levels of tannins and anthocyanins, and a more rounded tannin struc-ture due to lower levels of mortomene tannins."
    (from tricycle wine co – target=”_blank”>…” target=”_blank”> )

    And then:
    "Locations that typically have smaller diurnal temperature swings are high-elevation locations (mountain tops and hillsides more so than high plateaus) and locations with coastal influence. Coastal fog, generally thought to be a cooling influence, also serves to stabilize temperatures within the low to mid 50s (on the California West Coast)."
    (from… ).

    Fodder for a future post, perhaps…?

    Some other sources

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