Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Beyond Malbec: Argentinean Wine Tasting with Proemio Wines at Prezza (North End, Boston, MA)

Argentinean wines = Malbec. That's what most of us would think of, I think. At least I did as well, but there is so much more happening in the Argentinean wine industry beyond malbec and I recently got to taste some at a luncheon featuring Proemio Wines.

Proemio was founded in 2001 by Marcelo Bocardo, a third generation winemaker and an Italian descent. They have three vineyards in different wine regions of Mendoza and as of 2017 all the grapes are organic certified. Most of the wines we tasted came from Maipu, Mendoza where they have 148 acres of vineyard.
The wine luncheon took place at Prezza in Boston's North End with a special menu by Chef Anthony Caturano.

We started off with a glass of Proemio Chardonnay 2017. This wine was 30% aged in new French oak (the rest in stainless steel). The wine was pretty delicate. The winemaker wanted vanilla rom the oak but still wanted good acidity and freshness, hence the blend of oak and stainless steel.

For appetizers: tuna tartare crostini and crispy shrimp with cherry pepper aioli
Proemio Wine
The wine lineup:
Proemio Wine
Our first course: Grilled quail over red wine lentils and bacon. The quail was grilled perfectly.
Proemio wine
We tried each dish paired with two different ones. For the quail, we had the Proemio Terroir Blend 2017 (Petit Verdot) and the Proemio Syrah/Garnacha 2015.
The Proemio Terroir Blend is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. It retails for $14.99.
Proemio wine
50% of it is aged for 8 months in French Eco oak barrels. It was the first time I've heard of these barrels. They're eco-friendly (hence the name) because the barrels are made from the branches, not the trunk of the oak tree. This way you can use the entire tree instead of cutting them down just for the trunk. The resulting barrels are narrower than barrels from the trunk, but it's more sustainable to use both options.

The Syrah/Garnacha blend is another interesting one since it is a 50-50 blend of Syrah and Garnacha that is co-fermented. That means the grapes are harvested together and fermented together instead of blended at the end of fermentation like most blends.
Proemio wine
The unfined and unfiltered wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels and has nice tannins.

Our main course is a Cabernet braised beef, house made gnocchi, horseradish cream.
This was again paired with two different wines: Proemio Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2015 and Proemio Petit Verdot 2015. Both of these were aged for 12 months in French oak barrels (retail price $19.99).
Proemio Wine
We loved the food at Prezza, as well. The braised beef was very tender and sweet from the cabernet braise. I enjoyed it with both wines and it was hard to choose a favorite but in the end I leaned towards the Petit Verdot. Both are wonderful wines at a great value for $20!
Instead of dessert, we finished with some cheese and figs: Truffle Pecorino and Taleggio Cheese.
The cheese course was paired with Proemio Grand Reserva Winemaker's Selection 2013 and the Proemio Icon 2011.
Proemio Wine
the Grand Reserva is a blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and garnacha aged 18 months in French oak. The Icon is a blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot - again aged 18 months in French oak. The Icon is the most expensive offerings we tasted at $59.99 retail price. These two wines use grapes from their vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo, the oldest Malbec region in the country. Their vineyard contains 70-100 year old vines.

We also got a special treat at the end as well. They had brought Antonello, the 2003 Malbec Grand Reserva aged 100% in French oak barrels. This was the very first vintage of Proemio Wines, and it was named after Marcelo's daughter for her 15th birthday celebration.
Proemio Wine
Most of the wines we tried had soft tannins, which is apparently typical of wines from Maipu with its silt and clay in the soil. This is my preferred profile personally, especially for drinking on its own. I'll be looking for Proemio's wines around Boston personally, especially with its affordable price point. Next time you're looking for a new wine to try, why not go beyond Malbec and taste for yourself what an Argentinean Petit Verdot is like?

24 Fleet St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-1577
Prezza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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