January 2008

Ever heard of Malbec made in Amarone style? Is this a good idea? Well, I just tried it, courtesy of Mailisa Allegrini – of Allegrini in Valpolicella — who makes it in Argentina with Patricio Reich at Renacer in Mendoza, Argentina. Actually, it’s 50% Malbec, with Syrah, Bonarda and a tiny bit of Cabernet Franc.
In the dry air of Mendoza’s hills it takes days, not months, to dry the grapes. The result, a wine called ENAMORE, speaks of gently dried green leaves wrapped around dark cherries, with a touch of earthy tobacco. [The 2006 will shortly be in stores in the US through Leonardo Lo Cascio’s Winebow Brands International]

It took me quite a while to get it through my thick head that I was meeting Chris Phelps from Swanson, not Chris Swanson from Phelps. (I bet he’s used to that.)
From post-UC Davis training in Bordeaux to Dominus to Caymus to Swanson: I’d never have guessed that this soft-spoken, easy-to-be-with guy had such a pedigree. And the wines were easy to drink too. I hope I run into him again. I’ll practice his name just in case: Chris Phelps, Chris Phelps, Chris Phelps…

Leave A Comment