Passionate Wine

Wines that "blow your mind and reconfigure your perspective towards Argentinean wine" - Neal Martin, the Wine Advocate.

Matias is one of the three Michelini brothers who run the Zorzal winery in Gualtallary which Wine & Spirits magazine lauded as Argentina's winery of the year in 2012. He graduated as Winemaker from the prestigious Escuela Vitivinicola Don Bosco, in the Province of Mendoza, Argentina. He has worked and consulted in leading Mendoza wineries such as Luigi Bosca, Dona Paula and Finca Sophenia. Passionate Wines is Matias' personal venture where, day by day, he stresses all the potential and expression of high altitude wines.

Gualtallary is in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine-growing valleys, the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea-level in the highest vine-growing zone in the Province of Mendoza, at the foot of Tupungato volcano, one of the highest peaks in the Andes. The Gualtallary terroir has a calcareous soil, with stones streaked with chalk. It is rocky, with a breeze from the Andes that offers freshness and natural health. Its great altitude and desert climate make it an ideal place to achieve grapes of exceptional quality and unique personality. This terroir is revealed in Matias' wines through a respectful, non-invasive wine-making process that puts fruit before wood and austerity before exuberance.On the Michelini brothers wines, Neal Martin commented that "Their passion and commitment, their spirituality and, for want of a better word, "purity" in terms of doing what they do for the love of it rather than financial reward, bought to mind the Lopez de Heredia sisters in Rioja. If you want cutting edge, meticulously crafted Argentinean wines hot footed from one of the most exciting sub-regions (Gualtallary), then look no further than Zorzal or indeed, Passionate Wines (the solo venture of Matias Michelini)

"Passionate Wines," explained winemaker Matias Michelini, "is about doing all the things you are not supposed to do." Some readers may run a mile when they read a statement like that. However, if you are like me and forage "hit and miss" wines whose "hits" blow your mind and reconfigure your perspective towards Argentinean wine, then Passionate Wines is for you. It does what it says on the tin - this portfolio is the result of an inquisitive, daring mind. Matias is one of the three brothers that run the excellent Zorzal winery in Gualtallary, Mendoza. When I met him at Zorzal, he came across as the most quietly spoken of the three, though perhaps he was letting the wines do the talking. To say "anything goes" with regard to Matias is pejorative. I rather think "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is the phrase that underpins his philosophy. Here we find natural "orange" wines, biodynamics and concrete eggs ahoy. Indeed, Matias was the first Argentinean to introduce them, once he had persuaded the manufacturer that an egg-shaped vat was not a joke. To reiterate, I would not describe this as a consistent range of wines. That is not the priority here. Yet it was unequivocally one of the most exciting portfolios that I tasted and I sincerely hope an American importer with niche clientele embraces "Passionate Wines" in the future." (Neal Martin).The 94pt Wine Advocate rating for the Punta Negra Pinot Noir is the highest ever awarded for a South American pinot - and the same goes for the 92 point rating for the Bonarda.

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