About the winery
In Luján de Cuyo region of Mendoza, Argentina lies the sprawling vineyards of Séptima against the backdrop of the Andes. The winery, surrounded by a selection of its grapes, is one of the bigger Mendoza wineries, and one recognized by Americans because of their large export business. 80% of Séptima wines are destined for export while the remaining 20% remain in Argentina.
Part of the Codorníu Group famous in Spain for Cava (sparkling wine), Séptima's (Seventh in English) name comes from being the 7th winery added to the group. Its facilities are modern and mega, making use of the incredible views wherever possible. The construction of the building uses the "pirca" technique utilized by Huarpe natives, stacking natural stones to create the structure. The winery houses a restaurant that serves a tasty 4-course lunch with a view of the Andean cordillera.
Wines by Séptima
Its lines include (from most to least expensive): traditionally crafted sparkling wines from María Codorníu, reserve wines called Séptima Dia (Seventh Day), and the Séptima line.
Wine tips from Séptima
The tour guide had us feel an American oak barrel and then French oak. The American oak was much rougher, while the French oak was smooth. Most wineries talk about the subtle soft flavors that French oak imparts on wine while American oak generally provides stronger oak in addition to vanilla flavors, but I hadn't heard about the physical difference between oak barrels.
Tips on wine tasting
During the tasting, the Séptima guide provided some interesting twists on the obvious steps to tasting wine:
Look at the color of the wine. Tip it back at a 45 degree angle with above a white surface to get an honest look at the color. Winery Ruca Malén mentioned in their tour that red wines are more brilliant and clear the younger they are and the color fades with age.
Smell the wine and pull out some flavors that you notice.
- Taste the wine. The first taste will always be harsh, and you shouldn't judge the wine based on the first sip. Your mouth is a different acidity level than the wine, so the first taste gets your mouth ready to accept softer subsequent sips. Swish the wine around in your mouth during the first sip to balance out the levels of acidity. The second sip will really allow you to taste all of the flavors of the wine. Our guide recommended mixing the wine with air through making bubbles with the wine in your mouth and then breathe through your nose. Swallow and breathe through your nose again to bring together the flavors and aromas of the wine.