As a wine writer, I receive offers for free wine samples from time to time (a nice perk since making any meaningful money is almost impossible – but then again, I do it for love…). Most of the offers are for a bottle or two. Rarely do I receive more than three or four bottles of wine. So, imagine my surprise when I received eight bottles of Nieto Senetiner wine from Big Bang Wines on behalf of importer Foley Family Wines!
About Nieto Senentiner
Nieto Senetiner has 400 hectares of vineyards in their three Estates (Fincas), all situated in the Lujan de Cuyo area. The estates include:
- Finca Villa Blanca in Vistalba – planted in 1900; 3,300 ft elevation
- Finca Agrelo in Las Tortugas- planted in 1900; 3,100 ft elevation
- Finca Alto Agrelo in Las Torcazas – planted in 2005; 3,300 ft elevation
The winemaking team includes Head Winemaker, Roberto Gonzalez, and consulting winemaker, Paul Hobbs. Nieto Senetiner was the first Argentine winery to receive ISO 9002 certification in 2002. The wines are fermented with native yeasts, minimum SO2 and no acidifications.
Their state-of-the-art, sustainable winery and estate vineyards produce richly textured, interesting Malbec and Bonarda, the other red star of Argentina. At the foot of the Andes Mountains Lujan de Cuyo (a.k.a.the “Primera Zona” for producing high quality grapes) is renown for its low rainfall, high altitude, and diurnal temperature swings that stress the vines, developing the highly concentrated flavors.
Nieto Senentiner has three tiers of wine – Camila is their entry-level wine, the Nieto Senentiner are their flagship wines, and the Don Nicanor is a step up in sophistication, and complexity in terms of barrel blending and additional oak aging. The wines I sampled were:
- 2014 Malbec – SRP;$10
- 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP;$15
- 2014 Torrontes – SRP;$15
- 2013 Bonarda- SRP;$13
- 2014 Pinot Noir- SRP;$13
- 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP;$13
- 2013 Malbec- SRP; $13
- 2012 Malbec – SRP;$19
My tasting notes follow:
2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Malbec – Garnet color with subtle plum, blackberry aromas with hints of smoke and spice. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with an appealing supple texture and good acidity, and ample fruit with plum, blackberry, fig, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate flavors and a lingering finish. 100% Malbec. Aged in French Oak for 6 months – Very Good; 87-88pts
2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Bonarda – Violet color with blackberry, black currant, plum and perfumed spicy aromas. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, and fresh with easy, and enjoyable blackberry, black currant, plum, vanilla and a bit of spice flavors. Aged for 6 months in French and American Oak. Pair with grilled beef, mushroom risotto or cheese ravioli. Very Good; 87-88pts
2014 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir – Ruby color with promising red fruit, spice and vanilla aromas. On the palate, its light-bodied, and fresh showing a bit of savoriness with cherry, raspberry, and cranberry flavors. Aged for 6 months in French Oak. Pair with grilled or roasted chicken, grilled salmon, mild cheese and dishes with tomato based sauces. Very Good; 87-88pts
2014 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Torrontés – Yellow color with subdued greenish shades with intense, appealing dried peach, citrus, and white flower aromas. On the palate it’s fresh and easy with peach, and citrus flavors with an appealing hint of minerality. Raised in stainless steel. Pair with grilled chicken or white fish. Very Good; 87-88pts
2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Cabernet Sauvignon – Deep ruby color with promising cassis, vanilla, and a bit of graphite aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, with medium-acidity and well-integrated soft tannins with generous black cherry, cassis, and vanilla flavors showing nice depth at this price point. Aged for 6 months in French and American oak.Pair with roasted lamb, grilled pork, or heavy sauces. Very Good; 87-88pts
2012 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Malbec Don Nicanor – Inky black violet color with plum, blackberry, cassis, and roast coffee aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, with a harmonious, persistent character and well-integrated firm tannins and black cherry, cassis, vanilla, and a bit of baked blueberry flavors, and a lingering graphite laced finish. 14.5% alcohol Fruit from vineyard planted at 3,450 feet altitude. Aged for 12 months in French Oak. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts
2014 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Malbec Emilia – Intense dark red with low-key plum, raspberry and cedar wood aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, smooth, juicy and straight forward with plum, raspberry, and a hint of red currant flavors that are surprisingly persistent at this price point. Aged in French and American Oak for 12 months. Very Good; 86-87pts
Since I typically taste sample wines organically (i.e., I work them into my daily wine drinking – almost always with a meal), it took what turned out to be a few months to taste these wines. And I can tell you this about Nieto Senentiner wines. They are food friendly wines that offer strong value for every day drinking wines!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the wine samples from Big Bang Wines on behalf of importer Foley Family Wines. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.
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