Michele Rolland’s 2003 Clos de los Siete Mendoza created something of a sensation (not to mention a feeding frenzy) when it was released; Putnam Weekley sang its praises loudly, Alan Kerr had some positive remarks and I found it to be pretty impressive myself – at least for the first couple of times I tasted it. When the ’04 was released, I dragged my feet for a long time before finally bringing one home to try; I’d gotten a brief sample at work, was duly impressed and purchased accordingly for the department, but not for the home. When I finally caved in, I opened an ’03 AND an ’04 to taste side-by-side, and found that comparison most interesting.
2004 Clos de los Siete Mendoza, 50% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 15% alc.: Deep dark garnet in color, with dusty cocoa over dark plums and berries on the nose, following through on the palate with the ripe fruit showing itself more and more with air. Good structure here, with at least a few years of improvement; smooth textured, sleeker, less in-your-face, not quite as plump as the ’03, and the fruit’s not quite as intense either. Is that a bad thing? Depends on your perspective, I suppose, but I like this one better than the ’03; it seems more balanced, if still a bit manipulated. Every time I taste these wines, I have this perverse vision of Michele Rolland with a cell phone to his ear, barking, “Spoofalate!”
Imported by Vins et Vignobles Dourthe
-From Following Up Part Deux
Reporting from Day-twah,