Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rutini Portfolio - Good Value, Good Tasting

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a lunch in New York that featured Rutini Wines with their winemaker Mariano Dipaola.  Rutini has two lines out one being the Trumpeter and the other Rutini.  While I was familiar with the Trumpeter and really like the Torrontes, I wasn't with the Rutini line. Let me tell you both are very nice and affordable!

When I arrived I was greeted by a 2010 Trumpter Torrontes from Mendoza.  Crisp and fresh it had a nose of peaches and a bit lychee.  Hints of mineral latched onto the palate and hi had nice acidity.  Mariano feels this is the best expression of the land.

I was then given a glass of Rutini's 2009 Chardonnay. This was very nicely balanced with aromas of minerals, lime citrus and a little notes of honey and vanilla.  It had a soft butterscotch finish.  (Take note of this, because a post in the future will deal with this wine and a food pairing)

When we sat down for lunch it was more like a dinner.  Five courses all paired with a wine.  The Trumpeter Torrontes was paired with Langostino Encendido which was a grilled spicy prawn and homemade peach chutney.

The Raviolinis de mi Vieja were paired with the 2009 Rutini Chardonnay.  Mariano told us the the grapes sourced for this wine come from the Tupungato region of Mendoza.  It's high in the Andes on an elevation of 300-5--- feet above sea level.  They have hot days and cool nights.  He prefers to make his wine on the minerally side and he's been reducing the oak used.  The aging takes place for 9 months in French oak that is 50% new oak and then he uses barrels that are 1 - 2 years old and goes through 50% malolactic fermentation.

Rutini 2009 Malbec was paired with a Gazpacho which was nice and refreshing.  This wine is made for pleasure.  It's elegant and drinkable and has nice expressions.  The Malbec vineyards are 65 year old vineyards in the San Carlos district. I found aromas of wild berries and vanilla and a palate full of black fruit with a nice black pepper spice finish.  (love that spice finish)

Right about now I was ready for a walk around block but it was time for the beef.  Grass fed short ribs paired with Rutini 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.  The nose was very complex.  Aromas of coffee, black cherry and chocolate lead way to a palate that had was soft and fruity with a hint of spice.

Free range chicken was next paired with Rutini 2009 Encuentro.  First I was concerned, red wine with chicken, especially this which was a blend of 5 reds, but it went fairly well due to the mushrooms in the chicken and the thyme sauce.  The Encuentro is a blend of 50% Merlot, the rest of the blend is Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.

The last course of the afternoon was grilled grass fed rib eye served with argentine blue vein cheese sauce and grilled asparagus tips paired with Rutini 2009 Apartado.  This wine is 100% Malbec but from three different regions and terrior.  This wine goes under a 20 day fermentation with 100% malolactic fermentation in custom designed conical fermentation tanks for better extraction and phenolic concentration.  Aged for 18 months in new French oak.  Each barrel is fined with one egg white and the wine is unfiltered.  The wine had aromas of cigar box, dark cherry with a silky palate of cherry, coffee, and was very complex.

The Trumpeter line of wines retails around $10 and the Rutini line retails between $20 - $30.

Here is what winemaker Mariano Dipaola has to say about his wines.

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