Cara Sur Bonarda Sebastian Zuccardi
Cara Sur Bonarda Sebastian Zuccardi is a stunning natural, very limited production wine from high up in San Juan. The Sebastian Zuccardi wines are unique in that he makes them for the art, not for profit. Indeed it is so small scale that he probably loses a great deal of money when making these wines. We also stock Sebastian's remarkable Moscatel, which as a red grape is virtually unknown outside of Spain for dry red wines.
Sebastian made just 2000 bottles of this Bonarda from old vines.
A superb wine from Sebastian Zuccardi and friends. No awards yet for this vintage but previous vintages have scored 93 points from several top critics, and for me personally this is one of the most exciting wines I've discovered this year. I tasted it at the London Wine Fair and it was the standout wine of the show for me.
It's very small production, only around 2000 bottles! And that is a significant increase on the previous 2014 vintage which was just 600 bottles. Fortunately the Zuccardi family are very successful so they can fund this kind of perfectionist winemaking without needing to make it pay for itself.
Produced at Barreal in Calingasta Valley, Province of San Juan, Mendoza, at 1500 metres. Clearly this is a special vineyard site, planted with 50 year old Bonarda vines, so I'm not surprised it has produced such a superb pure wine.
As our regulars will know, we are all about purity, minimal intervention and absolute minimal additives in our wines. This wine was fermented in concrete eggs, roughly the size of a man, which allow the wine to "be stirred" by the gravitational pull of the moon. We've seen the same system used by Boekenhoutskloof to make their ultimate wine "the Journeyman". It's an expensive technique of course only used by really passionate winemakers seeking to produce exceptional wines. Only the grapes' own natural yeasts were used too.
I didn't make any notes! But it is a beautiful, natural tasting wine, medium bodied and silky smooth. Fruit and pepper, wonderful balance, natural acidity. This is classy winemaking and this wine will keep for decades. But it is already drinking now. It would be fascinating to lay a few cases down and see how it develops over the years.
As this wine is young it is still tight of course so needs aerating or decanting. Give it an hour in a decanter and it opens up and changes quite dramatically, with the fruit showing and the texture becoming velvet-like. It doesn't have huge tannins though so once it peaks enjoy it, rather than leaving to aerate for too long.
|Location||Calingasta Valley, San Juan, Argentina|
|Winery status||Privately owned winery|
|Annual production||2000 bottles|
|Style||Smooth and natural|
|Sulphite level||Very Low|