Day 10 – 12 days of Wine – Argentina and Malbec
Finca Flichman Paisaje de Tupungato 2019, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Tupungato, Argentina
Argentina is 2,268 miles North to South. The north can be almost tropical in climate, and Patagonia to the south is cold and windy, with the far reaches of the Tierra del Feugo being subpolar.
The scenery here can be stunning. In the north, the red rocks of the desert are astounding. East tucked into a corner between Brazil and Paraguay. You find the Iguassu Falls.
The Gauchos are a cultural symbol of the country. More than a cowboy, these nomads herded cattle in the region from Patagonia to the border with Uruguay.
Then there is Patagonia and the over 350 glaciers, with Perito Moreno being one of the most impressive.
Malbec hails from Cahors, a region in Southwest France. There it is known as “Cot.” It does have a flashier name, “The Black Wine of Cahors.” It was a wine so dark that you could not see your fingers through the glass. The region sits along the winding river Lot.
It was the mid-19th century when Cot came to Argentina. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento was the President of Argentina in 1853. He hired an agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget to bring french vine cuttings to Argentina.
Malbec typically has flavors of blackberry, cherry, cocoa, baking spice, cherry cola, blueberry compote, vanilla, and plum.
Founded in 1910 and now part of the Sogrape Group (a sizeable Portuguese wine group), Finca Flichman has vineyards in Barrancas, & Maipú in Mendoza, and Tupungato in the high-elevation Uco Valley.
Finca Flichman is one of the oldest wineries in Argentina.
Finca Flichman Paisaje de Tupungato 2019
Paisaje means ‘landscape,’ and Finca Flichman wants to communicate the landscape the grapes come from with this wine.
The Paisaje highlights the high-altitude vineyards in Tupungato, blending 50% Malbec and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon handpicked from this vineyard. Half of the wine ages in Stainless steel, the other half in 3rd use oak. It sees 6 months of bottle aging before release.
This is a big wine; you should open it for at least 20 minutes before drinking it.
In my glass, this wine was almost opaque. The nose was filled with blueberry, cherry, spice, cocoa, and baking spice. It led with cherry cola and baking spice in my mouth, followed by blueberry compote and other black fruits. Michael even noticed rhubarb.
14.5% abv $21.00 Total Wine $15.99 Vivino
Why we chose this wine
Finca Flichman was certified in January 2020 by the Sustainability Protocol of Bodegas de Argentina.
This program was developed with Dr. Laura Catena, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine. A Harvard graduate with a degree in biology and a degree in Medical Science from Stanford University, Dr. Catena is considered the face of Argentinian Malbec and works with her father, Nicolás, at Bodega Catena Zapata.
Through this program and other efforts, Finca Flichman looks to lower pollution using sustainable energy, ensuring that resources are available for future generations.
Boneless rib bites with cherry cola BBQ and chard, topped with thyme, fresh blackberry, and parmesan crisps
Delicious ribs don’t have to be an all-day thing, and they don’t have to be messy. Our recipe takes about an hour and a half and does without the bone (Michael won’t eat ribs on the bone, he says they are too much work for too little payout.) The secret to the sauce is cherry cola and blackberry jam. You will likely have some leftover sauce, and I guarantee you won’t be unhappy about that!
We serve it with barely cooked chard and top it with fresh thyme, fresh blackberry, and a parmesan crisp. While you can make the crisp at home (it’s just fresh grated parmesan, lightly baked), I cheated and bought some crisps for this and broke them up.
We also finished with edible flowers to make these look really beautiful (again, my friend Diane at the farmers market), but they would be beautiful even without them.
This bite has a richness from the meat and sauce, slightly bitter and green notes from the chard, saltiness from the parmesan, and a burst of fruit juice from the blackberry. All of which are perfect with this wine.
Check out our book series, “Tempting Spoonfuls” available through Amazon!
Inspired by the flavors and aromas in wines, this book creates “tempting spoonfuls” of flavors to pair with wines.
Robin has always had a love for spoons, with a drawer full of them in all different shapes and sizes. There is comfort in eating something from a spoon and something very sensual also.
Creating a spoon filled with flavors and aromas that will be eaten in a single bite, allowing the flavors to meld and pop in your mouth, is a joyful endeavor, and you are encouraged to make these your own.
The spoons range from savory to sweet, with something for everyone, and while they are paired with wines, they are delicious on their own.
These recipes are wonderful for appetizers and hors d’oeuvres or simple to create something delicious to spoil yourself, much like a pint of ice cream.
Each of these spoons is paired with a specific wine, and you get a bit of background on the wine, its flavors, aromas, and a bit of its story. She also includes other suggestions for wines to pair with the spoon.
The book is a feast for your eyes, with photos of each layered spoonful.
There are also photos of the wines with the elements of their flavor profile surrounding them. Those elements often inspire the pairing.
The goal is to make your mouth water and encourage you to create your own “Tempting Spoonfuls.”
“Tempting Spoonfuls – Pairing single bites with glorious wines” – Our first book paired wines from boutique wineries on the west coast, in California, Oregon, and Washington, with delicious spoonfuls.
This book is 60 pages, 18 recipes, lots of beautiful photos, and insights into some fantastic small wineries!
“Tempting Spoonfuls – small bites paired with wines from around the Globe” – This book takes us around the globe to explore 12 wine regions, a wine from the region, and then gives you a recipe for a pairing!
A slightly larger book at 104 pages, this time you learn about pairing with a type of wine from a region. Rather than a specific bottle, you can look for a style of wine from a region and feel confident that it will go well with the recipe pairing we provide. We give you 12 recipes, each to pair with a wine.
Either of these books gives you wonderful recipes to create appetizer spoons to pair with wines for a party!
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.