Masi Tupungato, Passo Doble Tierra Soleada Malbec/Corvina 2019 Uco Valley

16.5

Full bottle 1,358 g. Certified Ecocert organic and Organico Argentina. Screwcap. The property has 120 ha, 100 ha of which are vineyard and 20 ha which they preserve as a nature reserve to encourage biodiversity and protect the native flora and fauna. The vineyards are 950–1,050 m asl. You can see the snow-capped Andes from the vineyards. They have no neighbours so can be completely organic. The wines made at their Tupungato estate are intended to be a celebration of Venetian Italy and Argentina, so this 85% Malbec wine with its 15% Corvina backbone of acidity is made in the double-fermentation ripasso method. The Malbec is vinified immediately, but the Corvina does three to four weeks appassimento (climate is different so appassimento is faster) and the Corvina grapes are then pressed and added to the Malbec for the second fermentation. They call the wine Passo Doble because of the process but also because it represents the mixed Argentinean and Venetian heritage. The first vintage of this was made in 1999.
I have to confess that I was not expecting a ripasso-style Argentine-Venetian hybrid to be this fabulous, and I mean that in the most gloriously camp sense of the word – exactly as Susan Sontag defines it: ‘the spirit of extravagance … playful … anti-serious … in a dress made of three million feathers.’ This is most certainly an extravagant, playful, sumptuous sashay of a wine draped in indigo velvet with blueberry-stained lips and a peppery wit. It has the unmistakeable, intense, piercing purity, brightness and acuity of high-altitude fruit. And it has the deep-ocean blue of Malbec. And the Dionysiac prune and chocolate of ripasso; the fragrant herbs of Corvina running cool and true and sensible, grounding and governing a wine that threatens to combust in its own sultriness. GV (TC)

Producer
Masi Tupungato
Cuvée
Passo Doble Tierra Soleada
Grape variety
Appellation
Uco Valley
Region
Mendoza
Country
Colour
Red
Alcohol
14%
Score
16.5
When to drink
2022
2027
Published on
4 May 2022
Date tasted
Reviewer
Stockist
£16 Dartmouth Wine Company, Fountainhall Wines, Harris & Co, Hay Wines, Starmore Boss, Loki Wines and various other independents