Fantasia Cabernet Franc 2018 Lorca
Bodegas Mauricio Lorca, Vista Flores, Uco Valley, Mendoza
Wines like this hopefully will spread the good word about Argentine Cabernet-Franc. This really delivers with its delicious sour cherry and juicy strawberry flavours with all the typicity and fruit purity of well made single varietal wines of Mendoza. It is 30% aged in oak, the other 70% sees no oak at all resulting in a hint of oak on the nose along with black pepper, a full and well-structured palate and excellent balancing acidity. 2018 13.5% abv.
Tasted here 23/04: the red wine of the tasting for me (JOK). I've always liked Cab Franc, even after being nearly hospitalised by some of the more brutal efforts from shonky 'self-trained' winemakers in the central Loire who must have been using cement mixers to crush grapes, stray dogs, fence posts, bags of cement and even barbed wire into a foul tasting brew. This, however, is rich and lush with super-ripe flavours of plum, green pepper, sweet raspberry and a hint of oregano. Thoroughly delicious and a real struggle to use the spittoon.
Mauricio did well at school and college and was all set to go to medical school to train to be a doctor until one day a group of viticulture students came to give a talk to his year group. Mauricio went home to tell his Mum... I'm going to be a winemaker! What a shock that must have been for proud Mrs Lorca. What a stroke of luck for us.
This was more than 20 years ago when winemaking wasn't such a reputable career as it has become these days. Mauricio got straight down to it and worked his way up the ladder with winemaking roles at Catena, Luigi Bosca and Finca La Celia, sometimes taking risky decisions in the vineyards in order to prove a point to dissenting voices around him who were less open to change than he, and to fine tune a style that he has pioneered in Mendoza - top class wines without any oak ageing.
Mauricio's high density, high altitude vineyards are in his beloved Vista Flores in the Uco Valley; and his ever expanding, though still relatively small, winery is situated in Luján de Cuyo. It's a no-frills operation with the energy and solid work ethic of every employee channelled into getting the job done.
There's an honesty about the place that comes across in the wines, which range from the cracking, clean as a whistle Fantasia range of inexpensive single varietals right up to the dizzy heights of Lorca Inspirado, one of the best super-premium blends.
Mauricio Lorca's talents as a top consultant are very much in demand throughout Argentina; but it's at home in his own winery in Perdriel, Luján, that his college daydream comes to life with these great wines.