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Michel Torino Torrontes Don David 2005

Producer Background: With over 1500 acres of vineyards standing at 5500-6600 feet above sea level, Michel Torino is the most important winery in the Cafayate Valley of Argentina.

Brothers Salvador and David Michel founded the winery in 1892, 22 years after discovering the Cafayate as an area suitable for fine wine production. The Cafayate Valley averages 330-340 sunny days per year, and has low humidity and a great thermal range, with evenly warm days (82 degrees) and cool nights (54 degrees). Irrigation is mandatory, as only 3-6 inches of rain fall per year.

All of the Michel Torino wines are hand-harvested in the estate's own vineyards. Additionally, Andrés Höy, Torino's production manager, practices sustainable, environmentally- friendly farming by minimizing the use of fertilizers and chemicals in the vineyard. The unique Cafayete climate manifests itself in the elegant, focused profile of Michel Torino's wines. These are wines with an indelible sense of place, wines which complement food rather than overpower, wines which are true to their origin.

Grape Type: 100% Torrontes.

Country: Argentina

Region: Cafayate Valley

Vinification: Grapes are handpicked at optimum ripeness in the first half of April from Michel Torino's 'La Primavera' and 'El Alminar' vineyards, located in the Province of Salta (Cafayate Valley), at an altitude of 5600 ft. above sea level.

The grapes are destemmed and crushed with a roller system. After cooling at 46°F, they are sent directly to a pneumatic press. Fermentation during 10-12 days is done at controlled temperatures of 61-64°F. 40% of the wine is fermented in concrete vats with epoxy coating using inserstave method.

Tasting Notes: Cafayate has become a top area for the production of Torrontes as its soil and climate conditions enhance this grape's varietal character. Intense perfumed aromas of tropical fruits with some floral hints of roses. Elegant and complex wine with a rich, mellow, and fruity taste.

Food Match: scallops, salmon, quiche, pate, chicken.
Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet AC 2005

Producer Background: Olivier Leflaive was formed in 1984 by Olivier and his brother Patrick. Unlike a conventional negociant who buys finished wines, the firm actually vinifies a wide range of Burgundian appellations from grapes and must (or juice) and now owns 25 acres. Under the supervision of winemaker Franck Grux, the wines are vinified, blended, and aged exactly as they would be at a top-rank domaine.

Grape Type: 100% Chardonnay.

Country: France

Region: Burgundy

Vinification:

"Olivier Leflaive's winery produced 2003s that exceeded expectations." - Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator

This wine comes from the cuvee ronde assembled from all areas of the appellation along with several lots from young premier cru vines. The wine is vinified exclusively in Allier oak barrels (20 - 25% new, according to the nature of the vintage). Light toasting of the barrels permits longer aging on the lees, which are frequently batonnes (stirred). Malolactic fermentation being always desired, aging on the lees is encouraged to occur for as long as possible, checked by regular tastings. The first racking generally takes place after 12 to 15 months, by a blending of the different lots into a stainless vat. Several weeks later, fining occurs to allow for complete sedimentation of remaining deposits. Bottling is done, depending on the circumstances and the cuvees, between 15 and 18 months after light or no filtration.

Tasting Notes: "Soft and inviting, with a fleshy texture absorbing the oak. Vanilla, hazelnut, and peach notes mingle nicely. Drink now through 2008."

- Wine Spectator

Food Match: veal, salmon, pork, lamb, fish, crab, chicken.
Michel Torino Malbec Don David 2005

Producer Background: With over 1500 acres of vineyards standing at 5500-6600 feet above sea level, Michel Torino is the most important winery in the Cafayate Valley of Argentina.

Brothers Salvador and David Michel founded the winery in 1892, 22 years after discovering the Cafayate as an area suitable for fine wine production. The Cafayate Valley averages 330-340 sunny days per year, and has low humidity and a great thermal range, with evenly warm days (82 degrees) and cool nights (54 degrees). Irrigation is mandatory, as only 3-6 inches of rain fall per year.

All of the Michel Torino wines are hand-harvested in the estate's own vineyards. Additionally, Andrés Höy, Torino's production manager, practices sustainable, environmentally- friendly farming by minimizing the use of fertilizers and chemicals in the vineyard. The unique Cafayete climate manifests itself in the elegant, focused profile of Michel Torino's wines. These are wines with an indelible sense of place, wines which complement food rather than overpower, wines which are true to their origin.

Grape Type: 100% Malbec.

Country: Argentina

Region: Cafayate Valley

Vinification:

At the southern limit of Cafayate, the Calchaquies Valley has vineyards with deep, poor and rocky soils that receive water from the Andes. There is a wide variation in day/night temperatures (approximately 22°C) between the cold mornings and nights, and during sunny days; a critical factor for growing fruit with the phenolically ripe grape skins necessary to make fine wines. There is high sun exposure of about 350 sunny days a year. The dry climate, with approximately 120 mm. rainfall per year, and an average of 15° humidity results in wines with highly concentrated colors, aromas and flavors, and a uniquely fruity character.

With the winemaking goal of producing elegant, complex wines, grapes with concentration and balance are obtained from vines older than 20 years. Manually harvested grapes are deposited in 22 kg plastic boxes for protection during transport to the winery. In the winery, only first press juice is utilized, and 70% is aged in French and American oak barrels for 12 months. All of the wine completes a spontaneous malolactic fermentation.

Tasting Notes: Displaying expressive plum jam, raisin and pipe tobacco aromas, with toasty vanilla notes, the wine has balanced, spicy dark fruits and cassis, almond and nutty notes on the long finish.

Food Match: venison, roasts, red meat, grilled meats, game, beef, BBQ.
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