Winewyse Press Articles

French Winemakers Have Global Influence

Richard Esling - Monday, July 22, 2019
French Winemakers Have Global Influence

Wines from the so called ‘New World’, are now as popular in the UK as those from the Old World, otherwise known as Europe. Sauvignon from New Zealand, Chardonnay from California or Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia, all have established a firm place in the UK wine market. But a bit like with Brexit, it is easy to forget the influence that winemakers from Europe, particularly France, have had in establishing and developing vineyards in other parts of the world. Leaving aside the legal and economic arguments, the British as a people, have been hugely influenced genetically through centuries of invasions, wars and migrations, easily forgotten as we head for the controversial separation from Europe.
So then the undeniable effect of European winemakers in other countries. Pioneers from Spain, Italy and France took their vines, wine-making techniques and skills to many countries around the globe in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The style of the wines is, naturally, quite different in most cases, since there are significant differences in climate, soil and topography.
Involvement of French winemakers outside France has by no means stopped in the twenty-first century, since there is a tremendous pool of knowledge and expertise which has developed over hundreds of years. The iconic Argentinian black grape variety Malbec, originated from Bordeaux, and arguably, the whole of the Argentinian wine industry has French origins or influence.
Michel Rolland, born in the Bordeaux region soon after the Second World War, is an Oenoligist Superhero. He has hundreds of clients in 13 different countries and has influenced wine style across the world. One such project is Clos de los Siete in Mendoza, Argentina. With a group of six other Bordeaux winemakers, they bought and planted 850 ha of vineyards at 3500 to 4000 ft altitude – an area larger than the entire Pomerol appellation where Rolland grew up.
Winemakers and Investors from top Bordeaux chateaux in Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Saint Julien, Saint Estephe and other appellations, have worked together under the guidance of Michel Rolland, to produce a stunning Bordeaux style red wine with an affordable price tag. Grape varieties used are a typical Bordeaux mix, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec, with the addition of some Syrah.
Clos de los Siete is an oasis comprised of seven vineyards in the foothills of the Andes, in the Valley de Uco, south of Mendoza. Managed by Michael Rolland, particular care has been taken with the viticulture, vinification and maturation, so as to obtain the essence of this rich terroir and the noble varieties where Malbec rules. A new star is born: with seven points and symbolising ambition and conviction.
The 2016 vintage is deliciously rich and robust, with vibrant fruit and a touch of spice. Charming, elegant and fresh with good depth and length on the palate, together with considerable complexity. A classy, Bordeaux style Argentinian. Available from Cambridge Wine Merchants at £19.99. Older vintages available elsewhere from around £17 per bottle.