(Photos by Gascon Wines)
I was excited to meet Ernesto Bajda, the Head Winemaker for Gascon Wines, at the McCormick & Schmick’s Restaurant for a wine tasting lunch during his visit to Las Vegas.
Although I have tasted wines from many countries, this was a great time to try Argentina’s Gascon Wines from Mendoza. The first sip of Malbec Reserve was a pleasant surprise with its lingering bold taste. The wine reminded me of Cabernet yet bolder, with much stronger flavor.
Ernesto explained the reason he ordered the Crispy Buttermilk Fried Oysters for his appetizer. “The crispy texture of the oyster was perfect because the Gascon Malbec 2010 Wine has a natural acidity which adds a fresh touch to the wine. Malbec is a very nice mix. My Cashew Crusted Talapia added crispiness along with the smoothness of the sweet potato Cous Cous. This fitted perfectly making it very complex because of the intense flavors in the food.
Even though our Malbec and Malbec Reserve Wines are red, they fit perfectly with many different foods because of their fruity, fresh flavor profiles. The wine has a very nice smoothness in the mouth so it will fit perfectly with either beef or fish. It is all about tasting to find the best foods to have with Malbec.
The Malbec 2010 is the clear expression, the essence of Malbec! Our property is in Mendoza but we base our production with 150 different growers which produce 150 different Malbacs. When the wines are ready, we blend the best of the 150 growers. Even though we are talking about a Malbec, it s still a blend of the wines we get from the growers.
Of these 150 growers, only 80 % will be 20 acres or less of second-third generation producers. In the case of the Malbac Reserve, I will choose from the same growers and blend the best grapes from the top areas in Mendoza.
High altitude makes the grapes and vines behave completely different. The vines protect themselves with thicker skins which results in more color, flavor and aroma. That flavor is coming from the typical Malbec profiles which are the dark berries, really intense dark berries. In the case of the reserve for example, the oak aging will be longer and we will have some nice chocolate characters coming from the oak. There is a combination of berries, flowers, and fresh fruit profiles. This region of Mendoza is famous as a center for world class wine.”
This delightful afternoon of delicious food and great wines was such a pleasant introduction to the Gascon Winery. I plan to place Gascon’s Malbec Wines on my FAVORITES LIST!
You can try food pairings with wine and recipes from Argentina. Their website offers complimentary wine recipes as well as the names of stores and restaurants offering Gascon Wines in Las Vegas and around the United States: www.gasconwine.com
The finest grapes are hand-selected from cool, high altitude vineyards in the prestigious Uco Valley and Agrelo regions of Mendoza for this small production Reserva Malbec. Mendoza’s high valleys, each at a different elevation and with a different temperature profile, sustains a multitude of microclimates. The high altitude allows for intense sunlight that produces fruit with thicker skins. This delivers extraordinary color, body, aroma and structure, and creates unique flavor and aromatic expressions in the finished wine.
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