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The wines of Finca el Retiro, Mendoza, Argentina

A decent line up of red wines from this producer. Weighing in at just under 6, they offer very good value for money. Lots of fruit, but with some individuality, too. My favourite was the Malbec. I'm a bit confused about the name: literally translated from the Spanish it reads 'retirement estate'. As for stockists, Andrew Chapman (surf4wine.co.uk) has the Tempranillo and Malbec, Sainsburys does the Bonarda, Waitrose the Malbec and Adnams does the lot.

Note added later: As of May 2002, Liberty Wines (the UK agent) have delisted these wines. The vineyards and consultant winemaker have changed, and Liberty claim that the 2001 vintage shows a notable reduction in quality.

Sangiovese 2000
Lovely smoky/savoury nose with a fascinating spicy edge to it (some ginger?). Delicious, full flavoured palate has a spicy character. A deliciously individual red wine. Very good+ (5.00)

Bonarda 2000
Ripe, sweetly spicy nose with a herbal tinge. Very fresh, modern and fruity with good concentration. Very good (6.00)

Tempranillo 2000
Brightly fruited nose with a pungent herbal edge. The palate shows sweet fruit with some tannin and a spicy finish. Attractive and modern. Very good+ (6.00)

Syrah 2000
Deep coloured wine with a herbal, spicy, smoky nose. The palate is a blast of pure, bright fruit: it's rich, lush and quite tannic. Very tasty for the price. Very good+ (6.00)

Malbec 2000
Smoky, spicy, herbal nose with a liquoricey edge. The firm, rich, liquoricey palate is delicious. Sweetly fruited. Very good/excellent (6.00)

Wines tasted August 2001

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