I just returned from a business trip and am fortunate to be able to squeeze in the Rattage at the last minute. Luckily UPS delivered the bottle while I was away so I do have a wine to report on. I have always been a fan of what a capable wine maker can do in an off year. Not that 2015 was bad by any means but was rated 87 on Vinous. I try to take advantage of efforts of good wine makers in so-so years because the wines are usually quite commendable and are ready to drink. Which brings me to the Alberti 154 Reserva. On the pour it is a deep purple color with aromas of dark fruits. On the approach are no surprises, the same dark fruits. It has a long and complex finish with some bramble and forest floor. My pairings tonight were quite random. Miso glazed cod with port glazed mushrooms and roast new potatoes all paired surprisingly well as did the dark chocolate at the end of the meal. This is a medium bodied wine which is not notably acidic with smooth tannins and is definitely ready to drink now. Since I am in Florida we have a number of Argentinian Steakhouses with many Malbecs to choose from at this price point and this one certainly offers good value in comparison to what is usually available here. My wife may grant me a waiver on the SIWBM for this one.
2015 Bodega Calle:
88 Points. Issue: Jun 15, 2018
Creamy and rich, with concentrated black fruit flavors that are filled with notes of light smoke. Cocoa details show on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 12,000 cases made, 10,800 cases imported. — KM
Pretty sure the note attributed to BTI is a producer note not a BTI note…but who cares, right!!!
Almost forget WE, now how could that have happened??
Also the 2015:
Gritty berry aromas show hints of animal and latex. In the mouth, this is solid and firm, with a medium-plus body. Peppery berry flavors are a tad herbal, while burnt and roasted notes come up on the finish. MS 9/1/18
Inky purple in color, with classic Malbec aromatics of dark plum, blackberry, and blueberry. More layers of saturated berry fruit flavors and notes of cocoa fill out the palate, and the wine finishes incredibly soft considering its young age.
The use of two separate vineyards in Argentina is a traditional practice to safeguard against the threat of hail. For the Basso family, it also allows them to make a more interesting blend by combining the attributes of two distinct microclimates.
The dark, powerful fruit from their vineyard in San Carlos, matched with the softer, more nuanced fruit from their vineyard in Tunuyan, makes for a memorable wine.
Originally from Genoa, Italy, the Basso Family has been continuously producing wine in Mendoza since 1922. Carlos Basso has been a true pioneer in Uco and is one of the great “gentleman farmers” of the region. Since 1996, Basso’s focus has been on two projects: Viña Amalia, the iconic estate in Carrodilla, Uco Valley, and the “Dos Fincas” (“Two Farms”) wines, born of two distinct vineyards in Uco. The style is fresh and aromatic, with Uco’s floral notes and black fruit showcased to a beautiful effect. The value is remarkable considering the impeccable sourcing and boutique scale of production.
The legacy continues: Carlos’ son Adolfo is now directing all day-to-day efforts at the winery and is cut from the same cloth as his father: a wonderfully talented winemaker, an innovator constantly in pursuit of perfecting his craft as well as a kind & gracious soul.
2015 Alberti 154 Reserva Malbec, Bodega Calle
“Garnet black color. Bright, attractive, creamy aromas of berry buttercream, roasted nuts, and caramelized smoked bacon with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, amusing, medium-length caramel apple, delicate spice, toffee, and cedar finish with fine, silky tannins and light oak. An attractively juicy and easy-drinking Malbec that is sure to please.”
– BTI Beverage Testing Institute
About the Wine
Named Alberti 154 as it is the address of the winery in the district of Lújan de Cuyo. Dating to 1925, it resides on what’s now on a residential street on the corner of 3 other founding wineries of this classic zone known as Drummond.
DOC Luján de Cuyo is one of only two certified viticultural areas in Argentina. It was originally certified in 1989 and is limited to 144 square miles. The vineyards are of traditional old-vine vertical trellis, originally planted in the area. Vineyard plant density is between 1822 to 2227 plants per acre. The vines are pruned in the Guyot system and irrigated via snowmelt run-off. Maximum grape yields are at or below 2.5 tons an acre. The wine is aged 12 months in barrels and at least 12 months in bottle and is estate bottled.
Varietal: 100% Malbec
Appellation: Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza DOC
Two vineyard sites: Mayor Drummond (70 years old) and Chacras de Coria (102 years old)
Elaboration: Hand-harvested grapes. Made with gravity flow in the winery. Unfined and unfiltered.
Conservation: Aged 12 months in used French and American oak.
Winemaker: Ermisch & Guillermo Heras
Production: 400 cases
Press & Points Previous Vintages
2013 – 90 Points, Gold Medal, Best Buy – Beverage Testing Institute 2012 – 90 Points, Gold Medal, Best Buy – Beverage Testing Institute 2012 – 90 Points, Wine & Spirits
Bodega Calle is a boutique winery built in 1925 by Claudio Erice and restored in 2001 by Mrs. Elvira Calle de Antequeda, Kirk Ermisch, and Richard Battagion. The winery is specialized in the production of red wines with the unique method of delivering grapes to tank with gravity flow. Here is where Alberti 154 Malbec Clássico and Alberti 154 Malbec, Luján de Cuyo, DOC, Special Reserva varietals and Ca’ de Calle Gran Reserva Red Blend are born to conquer our palates. Bodega Calle is located in the prestigious wine region of Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.
A small-lot, gravity-flow, red wine production studio, Bodega Calle places great emphasis on gently crafting wines with regional distinction and grand personality.
Our mission is to produce high-quality wines in a sustainable way, applying the highest standards, contributing to the development of the wine industry and the prestige of Mendoza, Argentina. This is achieved via the preservation of the environment and culture of the region, with concern and commitment for workers’ welfare, grape growers, and the surrounding community.
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