Aguijon de Abeja Bonarda 20

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Mendoza is a name that's synonymous with wine from Argentina. Located at the foothills of the Andes, Mendoza is a landscape of rugged beauty and is Argentina's most significant wine-producing region. In this high-desert environment, the soil is sandy and alluvial, and the climate is characterized by hot days and cold nights, making Mendoza the ideal terroir for its famously beefy reds.

Mendoza has a rich history dating back to the late 16th century when grapevines were introduced by Spanish settlers. Today, Mendoza has become a significant player in the global wine industry, successfully blending traditional winemaking techniques with state-of-the-art technology.

The terroir of Mendoza plays a crucial role in shaping the flavors and characters of the wines produced here. Irrigation is necessary in this dusty, arid land, and snowmelt from the Andes provides the only reliable supply of pure water. This unique relationship between the Andes and the desert vineyards has led to a wide variety of microclimates within the region, each with its unique characteristics. The high-altitude vineyards, in particular, allow grapes to ripen very slowly, concentrating flavors while retaining a surprising degree of acidity, resulting in wines of exceptional depth and complexity.

While Malbec generally rules the Mendoza roost and certainly provided plenty of international fame for the region, Bonarda also plays an important role. Originally from Italy, Bonarda has adapted well to the high-desert Argentinian terroir and is the country's second most planted grape varietal.

Although it lives in the shadow of Malbec, wines made from Bonarda are known for their dark red fruit notes, moderate tannins, and fresh acidity. They offer a somewhat lighter and more versatile profile compared to Malbec, and while Bonarda is generally less intense, that's made up in spades by its charm and approachability.

The Durigutti Family estate was founded in 2002 by enologist brothers Hector and Pablo Durigutti. The brothers grew up in a family steeped in winemaking tradition, and over the years, they've earned a reputation for producing authentic and innovative wines. The brother's core philosophy centers around respecting the land, practicing sustainable viticulture, and showcasing the region's microclimates in their wines.

The name "Aguijón de Abeja" translates to "bee sting," correctly alluding to the wine's lively, zesty nature. Crafted from hand-harvested grapes and aged in a combination of stainless steel and oak, I find it's a textbook expression of Bonarda from Mendoza.

In your glass, Aguijón de Abeja Bonarda opens with an inviting dark ruby hue leading to notes of ripe red fruits, notably black cherry and plum, mixed with subtle hints of spice and dusty earth. The palate echoes these notes, delivering flavors of bold red fruit balanced by good acidity and soft tannins. Its versatile nature makes it an excellent choice for pairing with a wide variety of foods, from grilled meats and BBQ to pasta dishes and hard cheeses.

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