The new top-of-the-range is the 2011 Gran VU Blend. VU stands for Valle de Uco, but they were not allowed to use it in the name, so they went for the acronym. They separated some specific rows of vines in their estate (at least 10 different places for the Malbec) for this wine and the different varieties were handled separately: the Malbec is fermented in new barriques and the Cabernet fermented in oak vats. The wine matured in these new French barrique for some two years. Inky dark and with strong black aromas of peat, graphite, coal and plenty of ripe back cherries and plums. The palate is much more elegant than I expected given the profile found in the nose. There is good freshness and acidity and even though it's a big wine with plenty of stuffing the components are in very good balance. This is a beast of a red blend, an XXL expression of the Uco Valley, that should be able to age nicely in bottle. It's four years old now and it looks like a baby after two years in bottle. It represents quite a big jump in price. 5,916 bottle produced.
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Gran Vu Blend
Grape Varieties73% Malbec and 27% Cabernet Sauvignon
AppellationValle de Uco
DescriptionIn the remote upper reaches of Argentinas Uco Valley on the eastern slopes of the Andes, Bodegas Salentein produces a remarkable collection of wines from vineyards planted at some of the highest elevations on the planet. From this lofty outpost, 65 miles south of the bustling city of Mendoza, Argentina's winemaking capital, Bodegas Salentein (Sah-len-tyne) has forged an international reputation for its fine wines. Each year, growing numbers of curious wine lovers are drawn to this spectacular location, intent on discovering and experiencing the beauty and ethos of Bodegas Salentein for themselves. Bodegas Salentein is a wine destination like no other. Established in the late 1990s, Salentein is a privately-owned estate of almost 5,000 acres, of which 1,124 acres are planted to vine. The property includes a world-class winery and cellars, a 125-acre nature preserve, the showpiece Killka Center for Culture and the Arts, a nearby lodge (the Posada Salentein, offering an elegant and relaxed retreat into nature), and the landmark Chapel of Gratitude, a non-denominational chapel of ascetic loveliness, built using ancient local stonework techniques. "Salentein Gran VU Blend represents the deep commitment that Bodegas Salentein has made in the Valley de Uco. This wine is the crowning glory of years of work and research in our quest to understand the terroir that we have identified and selected to produce the best wines in Argentina. Having taken this trajectory with grapes from many different regions of Mendoza, I am convinced that we have found the vineyards and varietals to perfect this blend. Gran VU Blend is a paean to the Valley de Uco and the wines of Argentina." - José Galante
VinificationGrapes for the Gran VU Blend 2011 were hand-harvested early in the morning and immediately sent to the winery, where the clusters were hand-selected. The Malbec was destemmed and sent directly into 225 litters French oak barrels.
ColorIntense, deep red.
NoseRich and complex aromas reminiscent of black fruit, licorice and menthol.
PalateIn the mouth the wine is elegant and well-structured with ripe and velvety tannins. It offers rich black fruit, spices, and a subtle graphite note with great volume and a long, lingering finish.
AnalysisAlcohol: 15 %pH: 3.6RS: 2.3 g/LTA: 6.3 g/L