Making Malbec in Mendoza with Jed Wines

By | All About Malbec, Malbec Making Legends | No Comments

When we call Tom Egan, he’s just finished a tasting of about 40 wines. It’s for Jed Merchants – the importing arm of his business, which brings in wine from Argentina, as well as Chile, Spain and the USA.

Jed Merchants is the reason why Egan and his business partners will exhibit around 30 wines at this year’s Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day. But while this fact is awesome and delicious, it’s not the reason we’re calling – we’re calling to ask Egan about the other arm of the business – Jed Wines.

Egan, together with business partners and fellow Aussies Rob Bates-Smith and Blair Poynten, have been making Malbec in Mendoza, Argentina, since 2006. None of them had even been to Argentina before they made their decision to make wine there, but they’d noticed while working in the USA that there were some incredibly good value wines coming out of that region.

“At that point, Malbec wasn’t even on the map in Australia… we just saw the opportunity,” says Egan. “Once we got [to Mendoza], we found that there was a lot of respect for the Australian wine industry in Argentina. It made things easier for us, we were able to talk our way into setting up partnerships over there.”

There are two main grape-growing regions in Mendoza: Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Lujan de Cuyo, which is in the north, is warmer and the soils are richer and more fertile. Uco Valley is much more extreme – higher altitude, less fertile soil, and, in general, a much tougher environment for the vines. But despite the trickier terrain, “Straight away we knew that Uco Valley was a logical place for us to do our project,” says Egan. “We wanted to do something that was really different to what we do in Australia.”

Egan, Bates-Smith and Poynten found a vineyard in the Uco Valley; not to buy – they still don’t own their own vineyard over there – but one they could work with for years, one big enough to guarantee a continuous of supply of fruit, and one with enough variation in the soil that they could build complexity in their wines. Twelve years on, they’re still making their wines from fruit grown on this single site.

The dream was to spend three months every year in Mendoza, but sadly the boys often only find time (due to life, kids, Merchants, etc.) to get there for a few weeks around harvest. Still, their limited time hasn’t stopped them from having some pretty uniquely Argentinean experiences.

“The first one that springs to mind is this time we were processing some fruit for a small batch of wine we were making. We were in this field with the Andes looming over us, we had a little fire going with a sort of make-shift barbecue, and on it we were cooking these awesome short ribs,” says Egan.

“Another one – this is the best one – is we was invited for an asado (Argentinean barbecue) at a friend’s parents’ house, and we were invited for an 11pm start,” says Egan. “There was this amazing progression of all these different cuts of meat, from the sort of tougher, bouncier textured ones all the way through to these softer, longer cooked cuts. We were drinking wine and having this meat, and all of a sudden I realized it was 4am. I looked down the table and the whole family was still there at the table. It’s a very different vibe.”

Egan, Bates-Smith and Poynton have no plans to stop making Malbec in Argentina. They will – one day – build themselves a proper base over there, a place where they can take their families and friends. In the meantime, they’ll keep making their wines, keep experimenting, and keep importing so that we can try them, too.

Exploring Argentina with Jed Wines

By | Malbec Making Legends | No Comments

Although they all call Australia home, the three young winemakers behind Jed Wines aren’t content with making Malbec on their native soil. Instead, the team travel to Mendoza, Argentina every year to do it.

“Initially, it was because we were blown away by the value for money that you could get with wine from Mendoza,” says one of Jed’s winemakers, Tom Egan. “But eventually we fell in love with the country, the people, the culture, the beef… and the Malbec.”

They shot this video during harvest last year; a small insight into what it’s like to make wine in Argentina. Look out for the Gauchito Gil figurines!

 

PEOPLE’S CHOICE: WINE 2017

By | All About Malbec, Malbec Making Legends | No Comments

Wow, people. Just wow.

Over 1400 people, 2500+ empanadas, 90+ Malbec … and let’s not forget the tango dancers. This truly was Australia’s BEST Malbec event, and we have you to thank for it. So, THANK YOU!

Thanks also to the Argentinean Embassy for coming down and spreading the Malbec love.

You may remember that on the day we asked you to vote for your favourite producer on the day and below is the results of both the overall votes and individual cities.

But at the end of the Tango, there can only be one winner and, for the second year in a row, the title goes to JED WINES!

BRAVO!

NATIONAL Top 10
  1. JED
  2. Yarra Yering
  3. Aluvion
  4. Man o War
  5. Terrazas de Los Andes
  6. Catena Zapata
  7. Taylor Made
  8. Bremerton
  9. Acordeón
  10. Mendel

SYDNEY TOP 5
  1. JED
  2. Aluvion
  3. Tied between – Yarra Yering, Taylors & Man o’War
  4. Bremerton
  5. Terrazas
MELBOURNE TOP 5
  1. Yarra Yering
  2. JED
  3. ReWine
  4. Terrazas de Los Andes
  5. Catena Zapata

Melbourne’s 2017 GOLDEN EMPANADA Winners

By | All About Malbec | No Comments

Each year at Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day in Melbourne, five restaurants battle it out for the coveted GOLDEN EMPANADA trophy. This year, the competition was tougher than ever, with San Telmo, CHE, The Mill House, Elyros and Gertrude St Enoteca x Little Latin Lucy vying for the prize. Here’s how it went down. 

San Telmo took out the professionals’ choice category in this year’s Golden Empanada competition for the third year running, decided by a group of Melbourne’s top food critics, from Broadsheet, Good Food, the Weekly Review and The Australian. Empanadas were brought into the judges’ chamber, blind – the judges didn’t know anything more than what was inside them – and then scored on the quality of the pastry, quality of the filling, consistency, and, most importantly, their overall deliciousness.

It’s hard to say whether there’s an advantage in being among the first empanadas to be tasted, or the last. On one hand, when you’re hungry, everything tastes good. On the other hand, if you can find room in your stomach for something when you’re completely full, then it must be seriously great. The standard across the board was the highest it has ever been since this competition’s inception – every single empanada was considered for the prize. But there’s no beating San Telmo. Not only did it win first place with its beef empanada, it also took our second place with its corn and mozzarella empanada. Elyros restaurant came third, with its sheep and goat cheese kalitsounia.

Once again, the professionals and the people disagreed. The winner of the People’s Choice Golden Empanada trophy was newcomer CHE, with its smoked beef brisket empanada. CHE is by the team behind Pastuso, and it was the first time Melbourne had had a taste (the restaurant doesn’t open until the end of May). A pretty good way to start, we think.

Thank you to all who came, ate and voted! Until next year, Melbourne.

MENU: Sydney

By | FOOD, Golden Empanada Contenders | No Comments

We know wine tasting is hungry work, so we’ve got the following restaurants on board to ply you with empanadas, meat, cheese and biscuits.

Porteño

Empanadas $7
Beef
Veg

Steak sandwich $13

La Bastide

Saucisson cones $5
Foie gras
Terrines

Alfamores

Alfajores biscuits $2.50 each small, $4 regular, $7.50 extra large
Traditional
Cacao
Australis
Black Sesame
Espresso
Yerba Mate

Gift Box – $24

Dulce de Leche jar $12

MENU: Melbourne

By | FOOD, Golden Empanada Contenders | No Comments

We know wine tasting is hungry work, so we’ve got the following restaurants on board to ply you with empanadas and meat and cheese. Don’t forget you can vote for your favourite empanada – the winner of the People’s Choice Golden Empanada competition will get a trophy to display in their restaurant for the entire year. Just log your vote with one of our roving Gauchitos on the day.

The Mill House

Empanadas $5 each
Smoked wagyu brisket with fois gras, truffle, and chimichurri
Arroz con pollo with salsa criolla
Chilli con carne
Bottles of Chilli Sauce $5

Gertrude Street Enoteca

Empanadas $5 each
Chorizo and lamb with chimichurri
Smoked scamorza and potato with tomatillo and jalapeño salsa

Elyros

Kalitsounia Cretan pies (the original empanda!) 2 for $8, 3 for $10
Sheep and goat cheese
Wild greens

CHE (Chicken, Helados, Empanada) 

Pollo a la braza $10
Charcoal chicken, Peruvian slaw, pickled onion and fermented chilli sauce
Empanada de carne $6
Smoked beef, Botija olives, roasted capsicum and Peruvian yellow chilli.
CHE Sundae $6
Helado (ice cream) de dulce de leche with Malbec and blueberry jam, honeycomb and shaved macadamia nuts

San Telmo

Empanadas $5
de Carne: Beef, burnt corn, capsicum, cumin and paprika
de Queso: Corn, onion and mozzarella

Meatsmith

Chorizo and pickled padron peppers $12.00
Asado beef ribs with chimichurri $14.00
Picanha and salsa verde $22.00

Yarra Valley Dairy

Cheese platter $15
A selection of three cheeses served with fresh bread, crackers and quince jam

Individual cheeses*
Persian Fetta 275g $10
White Savourine 200g $12
Black Savourine 110g $9
Hot Cow 150g $8
Yering 110g $9

*Select any three cheeses for $26

MELBOURNE – Your Malbec Wine List is here!

By | All About Malbec, Malbec Making Legends | No Comments

So here you go. Your Malbec Wine List for Gauchito Gil’ Malbec Day and boy, it’s a doozy. In fact, just under 90 different Malbec’s will be on tasting.

So the question is now, where do you start?

Regardless of your wine knowledge, navigating your way around 90 odd wines at any event can be a little daunting so here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through the day.

Malbec is Wine with Altitude.

Think of the variety the same way as you would with Australian Shiraz. We grow it virtually everywhere here but as we all know well, the variations are endless with where it’s grown playing a vital role as to subsequent style. Warmer regions (like Barossa for example) can often produce bigger, richer styles of shiraz. Cooler regions, like the Yarra Valley, are often more in the medium bodied spectrum and generally show a little more spice.

Same ideas can be applied to Malbec. The lower the altitude, the warmer it gets hence a more fuller flavoured style. The higher the altitude, the cooler it gets so you tend to see more floral and perfumed examples.

Make sense?

All in all, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger range and broader selection of Malbec anywhere and we can’t wait to see which is your favourite producer on the day!

OLÉ!


ARGENTINA

Untapped Fine Wines
Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2014
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Blend 2009
Caelum Malbec 2013
El Porvenir Amauta I Inspiración Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2011
El Porvenir Laborum Single Vineyard Malbec 2007
Enrique Foster Venetia Sparkling Blanc de Noir Malbec NV
Enrique Foster IQUE Malbec 2016
Enrique Foster Reserva Malbec 2012
Mauricio Lorca Fantasia Malbec 2016
Mauricio Lorca Opalo Malbec 2012
Mendel Lunta Malbec 2014
Mendel Unus Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Mendel Finca Remota Malbec 2009
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec Rosé 2016
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec 2015
Mi Terruño Expresión Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Reserva Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Mayacaba Malbec 2009
O. Fournier Alfa Crux Blend 2004
Maquis Malbec Rosé 2014
Maquis Malbec 2012
Tamaya Reserva Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah (1500ml) 2012

Jed Wines
Jed Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2014.
Jed Limited Release Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2013.
La Posta “Paulucci” Malbec, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza 2015.
Bodega Noemia “A Lisa” Malbec, Patagonia 2015.
Bodega Colome “Estate” Malbec, Salta 2014.
Bodega Colome “A

Artisan Malbec Club
Finca Agostino Malbec
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Grand Selection
Mythic Estate Malbec
Viniterra Select Malbec
Serie Terra Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Reserve Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Sol Fa Sol Malbec
Luigi Bosca Malbec

Bodega Catena Zapata
Alamos Malbec 2015
Tilia Malbec 2015
Catena Zapata Catena Malbec 2014
Catena Alta Malbec 2013

Red Wax Wines
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec Rose 2015
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec 2015
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec 2015
Familia Blanco ‘Mairena’ Malbec 2013
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec RSV 2012
CarinaE, ‘Finca Deneza’, Single Vineyard Malbec 2014
CarinaE, ‘Hommage’, Malbec Gran RSV 2010

Winetraveller
Acordeón Malbec Mendoza 2015

Argento
Argento Classic Malbec 2015
Esquinas Malbec 2014
Argento Reserva Malbec 2014

red+white
Fat Bastard Malbec Mendoza 2016

United Cellars
Bodegas Salentein ‘Paso’ Selected Red 2015
Bodegas Salentein Portillo Malbec 2015
Finca Flichman ‘Gestos’ Malbec 2014
Finca Flichman ‘Expressiones’, 2014
Trumpeter Malbec 2014
Rutini Encuentro 2014
San Felipe Roble Malbec 2015
Perez Cruz COT 2013

Terrazas de los Andes
Terrazas Reserva Malbec 2015
Terrazas Single Vineyard Malbec 2011

 

AUSTRALIA

Yarra Yering – Yarra Valley
Yarra Yering Malbec 2016
Yarra Yering Agincourt Cabernet Malbec 2015

red+white
Brothers in Arms Side by Side Malbec Langhorne Creek 2013
La La Land Malbec Murray Darling 2015
Cullen Mangan Vineyard Malbec Preservative Free 2016

Bremerton – Langhorn Creek
Bremerton Special Release Malbec 2015

Jones Winery – Rutherglen
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2015
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2013
Jones Winery Rosé 2016

Taylor Made by Taylors Wines
Taylor Made Clare Valley Malbec 2015

ReWine – Heathcote
ReWine Malbec

Brown Brothers – Heathcote
Brown Brothers Vintage Release Malbec 2015

 

NEW ZEALAND

Man O’ War Vineyards – Waihiki Island
‘Pinque’ Rosé 2016
‘Death Valley’ Malbec 2014
‘Warspite’ 2013
‘Gravestone’ 2013
‘Valhalla’ 2016

FRANCE

La Mosaique – Cahors
Chateau Combel la Serre AOC Cahors Malbec 2012
Chateau Combel la Serre Pur Fruit AOC Cahors Malbec 2014
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge Barrique AOC Quercy 2012
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge AOC Quercy 2015

Mas del Périé | Fabien Jouves – Cahors
Fabien Jouves ‘Haute Cot(e) de Fruite’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘La Roque’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘Amphore’ Cahors 2014

BUY TICKETS HERE!

SYDNEY – Behold your Malbec Wine List!

By | All About Malbec, Malbec Making Legends | No Comments

So here you go. Your Malbec Wine List for Gauchito Gil’ Malbec Day and boy, it’s a doozy. So the question is now, where do you start.

Regardless of your wine knowledge, navigating your way around 90 odd wines at any event can be a little daunting so here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through the day.

Malbec is Wine with Altitude.

Think of the variety the same way as you would with Australian Shiraz. We grow it virtually everywhere here but as we all know well, the variations are endless with where it’s grown playing a vital role as to subsequent style. Warmer regions (like Barossa for example) can often produce bigger, richer styles of shiraz. Cooler regions, like the Yarra Valley, are often more in the medium bodied spectrum and generally show a little more spice.

Same ideas can be applied to Malbec. The lower the altitude, the warmer it gets hence a more fuller flavoured style. The higher the altitude, the cooler it gets so you tend to see more floral and perfumed examples.

Make sense?

All in all, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger range and broader selection of Malbec anywhere and we can’t wait to see which is your favourite producer on the day!

OLÉ!

ARGENTINA

Untapped Fine Wines
Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2014
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Blend 2009
Caelum Malbec 2013
El Porvenir Amauta I Inspiración Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2011
El Porvenir Laborum Single Vineyard Malbec 2007
Enrique Foster Venetia Sparkling Blanc de Noir Malbec NV
Enrique Foster IQUE Malbec 2016
Enrique Foster Reserva Malbec 2012
Mauricio Lorca Fantasia Malbec 2016
Mauricio Lorca Opalo Malbec 2012
Mendel Lunta Malbec 2014
Mendel Unus Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Mendel Finca Remota Malbec 2009
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec Rosé 2016
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec 2015
Mi Terruño Expresión Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Reserva Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Mayacaba Malbec 2009
O. Fournier Alfa Crux Blend 2004
Maquis Malbec Rosé 2014
Maquis Malbec 2012
Tamaya Reserva Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah (1500ml) 2012

Jed Wines
Jed Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2014.
Jed Limited Release Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2013.
La Posta “Paulucci” Malbec, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza 2015.
Bodega Noemia “A Lisa” Malbec, Patagonia 2015.
Bodega Colome “Estate” Malbec, Salta 2014.
Bodega Colome “A

Artisan Malbec Club
Finca Agostino Malbec
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Grand Selection
Mythic Estate Malbec
Viniterra Select Malbec
Serie Terra Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Reserve Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Sol Fa Sol Malbec
Luigi Bosca Malbec

Bodega Catena Zapata
Alamos Malbec 2015
Tilia Malbec 2015
Catena Zapata Catena Malbec 2014
Catena Alta Malbec 2013

Red Wax Wines
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec Rose 2015
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec 2015
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec 2015
Familia Blanco ‘Mairena’ Malbec 2013
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec RSV 2012
CarinaE, ‘Finca Deneza’, Single Vineyard Malbec 2014
CarinaE, ‘Hommage’, Malbec Gran RSV 2010

Winetraveller
Acordeón Malbec Mendoza 2015

Argento
Argento Classic Malbec 2015
Esquinas Malbec 2014
Argento Reserva Malbec 2014

red+white
Fat Bastard Malbec Mendoza 2016

Aluvión Vineyards
Aluvión Vineyards Malbec Reserva “Cooper’s Pick” 2011
Aluvión Vineyards Malbec Reserva 2012

United Cellars
Bodegas Salentein ‘Paso’ Selected Red 2015
Bodegas Salentein Portillo Malbec 2015
Finca Flichman ‘Gestos’ Malbec 2014
Finca Flichman ‘Expressiones’, 2014
Trumpeter Malbec 2014
Rutini Encuentro 2014
San Felipe Roble Malbec 2015
Perez Cruz COT 2013

Terrazas de los Andes
Terrazas Reserva Malbec 2015
Terrazas Single Vineyard Malbec 2011

Exclusive Vines
Tomero Malbec 2015
Serbal Malbec 2015
Catalpa Malbec 2014
Vistalba B 2014
Arturo Malbec 2013
Arido Malbec 2014
Altamira Navigato Family Selection 2009

 

AUSTRALIA

Yarra Yering – Yarra Valley
Yarra Yering Malbec 2016
Yarra Yering Agincourt Cabernet Malbec 2015

red+white
Brothers in Arms Side by Side Malbec Langhorne Creek 2013
La La Land Malbec Murray Darling 2015
Cullen Mangan Vineyard Malbec Preservative Free 2016

Bremerton – Langhorn Creek
Bremerton Special Release Malbec 2015

Jones Winery – Rutherglen
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2015
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2013
Jones Winery Rosé 2016

Taylor Made by Taylors Wines
Taylor Made Clare Valley Malbec 2015

 

NEW ZEALAND

Man O’ War Vineyards – Waihiki Island
‘Pinque’ Rosé 2016
‘Death Valley’ Malbec 2014
‘Warspite’ 2013
‘Gravestone’ 2013
‘Valhalla’ 2016

 

FRANCE

La Mosaique – Cahors
Chateau Combel la Serre AOC Cahors Malbec 2012
Chateau Combel la Serre Pur Fruit AOC Cahors Malbec 2014
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge Barrique AOC Quercy 2012
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge AOC Quercy 2015

Mas del Périé | Fabien Jouves – Cahors
Fabien Jouves ‘Haute Cot(e) de Fruite’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘La Roque’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘Amphore’ Cahors 2014

 

GOLDEN EMPANADA JUDGE: EMILY PAULIN

By | All About Malbec, Golden Empanada Contenders | No Comments

Familiar with a little online publication known as Broadsheet? Well, this Gauchito here is a huge part of how you get your city’s goss. She’s the Social Media Manager (NATIONAL!!) so runs all its Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and does a freakin’ great job doing it. Her intimate knowledge of our country’s best restaurants makes her a perfect GOLDEN EMPANADA judge.

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

I’d get the stuff IV’ed in to my veins if it wasn’t going to damage my liver

I would do anything for Malbec, but I won’t do…

Tasting notes (I’ll come undone).

I’m all for judging food. The only thing I’m not willing to put in my mouth is…

A mocha hot cross bun.

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Slow-cooked pulled pork. Or salt and vinegar chips (not cook, just open a packet).

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

San Telmo

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

Porteño

What do you drink when no one is watching?

A bottle of Baileys

Follow Emily’s food adventures here:

instagraminstagram

Golden Empanada Judge: Sofia Levin

By | Golden Empanada Judges | No Comments

Sofia Levin doesn’t discriminate when it comes to food. She considers hole-in-the-wall bánh mì joints as worthy of her stomach space as three-hat restaurants, and judging by her Instagram feed, spends a proportionate amount of time at both.

She’s made eating her profession, working as Food Editor at the Weekly Review, and columnist at Good Food. She’s also director of her own copywriting business, Word Salad, and manager to her Insta-famous pup, @lifeofjinkee.

With her iron wit and stomach, she was an obvious choice to be one of our GOLDEN EMPANADA judges.

Meet Sofia Levin:

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

Malbec makes me tango.

I would do anything for Malbec, but I won’t do…

…the worm. Unless I’ve had a few bottles. Yes, I can do the worm.
(You guys ply her with Malbec, we’ll grab the camera)

I’m all for judging food. The only thing I’m not willing to put in my mouth is…

I draw the line at cyanide. Unless it’s seasoned with some form of flavoured salt.

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

I like the idea of knuckling down to watch six episodes of House of Cards in a row with a bottle of Malbec and a solid homemade spag bol and my puppy, @LifeOfJinkee (go on, take a look).

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

Mi Peru D’Carmen in Parkdale. It’s as unassuming as it is delicious, the waitstaff are so smiley it hurts your heart and they do a mean ceviche ‘mixto’ on a fish-shaped plate — it’s incredibly fresh and super tangy.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

I don’t know Sydney as well as Melbourne, but Porteño comes to mind.

What do you drink when no one is watching?

Water, the non-alcoholic kind.

Follow Sofia’s food and travel adventures:
instagraminstagram