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Fernando Sota, from Bodega Renacer: "We have to listen to wine consumers".

The testing behind each wine, this time it was Bodegas Renacer's turn. The dreams and concepts that Ignacio Borrás took from Fernando Sota, in this article.

For this week's interview, Fernando Sota, Winemaking Manager of Bodega Renacer, located at 1863 Brandsen Street, Luján de Cuyo, was chosen.

Fernando has been in charge of the winery's winemaking team since the beginning of this year, and as usual in this series of interviews, the idea is to know a little more about his personal history, the winery and taste some of his wines.

- What led you to study enology?

- I have often thought about it, and I have come to the conclusion that it was not just one reason that led me to study oenology, the first memory I have is when I was 8 years old, when I had an uncle who worked at the INV and he always talked to me about wines, explaining tannins, structures, aromas and those things, and without a doubt those were things that stayed with me. During school I went to the Liceo Agrícola and I saw again things linked to the world of wine, when I finished high school I started to study music and at the same time I began to study oenology. But I think the most significant thing was the talks with my uncle.

- Have you had a person you consider a mentor?

- I had a very nice work experience at Fecovita. I was put in charge of a new sector that was looking to develop a Torrontés outside Mendoza, so we started to investigate the terroirs of La Rioja, Catamarca and Salta. At that time Ángel Mendoza was an advisor at Fecovita and he was a person from whom I was able to learn a lot both personally and professionally, so much so that today we are friends.

- Do you have 3 favourite red varietals and 3 favourite white varietals?

- I think it is something that I have changed over time. Without a doubt Malbec is my number one. Syrah is another variety that I love, because it has a great plasticity depending on the terroir and finally Cabernet Sauvignon, I think this is the great debt we have in the country, I am sure we have everything to have the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. Among the whites I like Torrontés very much, I think it is a grape variety that was left aside and that was wrong on our part but we should take it up again, secondly I would choose Viognier, it is a varietal that when I find it I enjoy it very much, and finally Sauvignon Blanc.

- Why do you think people are looking to try varieties other than Malbec?

- This is a phenomenon that happened because there are some small projects that can't compete with the big ones in the industry and they are the ones that planted this concern, I think. They started to do research on micro terroir, different grape varieties, and those things that tend to attract the attention of consumers who also want to know more every day.

- How do you see the future of the industry?

- Apart from the country's current problems, I see a complex industry, but complex for the better. We will continue to search for new areas, new strains, etc. What we must be clear about is that we cannot confuse people with so much complexity, we must be simpler when communicating. The complexity for the consumer should be in the choice of grape variety, areas and whether they are organic or not.

- Speaking of consumers, what do you think is the best way to win them over?

- It is very important to listen to the consumer. We can propose many new and variable things, but we cannot forget to listen to what people want, and this undoubtedly brings them closer to the world of wine.

- What are the objectives you have set for this new stage at the helm of Bodega Renacer?

- The objectives I set are steps, stages. The first one was order and discipline, we have a great work team but we had to organise ourselves more and avoid overlapping tasks. The second step was new investments, obviously we never left wine aside, but with the two previous stages completed we are working better. Now we are also looking to change some of our wine profiles as the wine world has changed in the last years and is asking for wines with less wood.

- If you had to choose a person who is difficult to reach, it could be a famous person, a historical figure or a relative of yours who is no longer with you, who would you drink a wine with?

- I would love to have a wine with Chris Cornell, and it would be a Malbec from Renacer.

- Have you recently achieved organic vineyard and winery certification?

- In 2018 we started the process of converting all of our own vineyards to organic, which ended this year, when the winery was also certified, thus allowing the production of organic wines from the 2021 vintage onwards. The certification process consisted of a series of audits carried out by LETIS where compliance with the standards required by organisations such as SENASA, NOP and COR was inspected. Only 3% of the country's vineyard hectares are organic.

- What does this certification consist of?

- To obtain this certification, organic soil management must be guaranteed, improving its fertility and biodiversity, mechanical and/or manual weed control, no use of chemical synthesis products to manage diseases or pests, traceability and separate handling of organic grapes in the winery, the use of organic inputs in the production of these wines such as yeasts, reasonable use of sulphites and the use of labels, caps, capsules free of heavy metals and ecological corks. An organic wine is one that is made from organic grapes in an organic way.

- What is the capacity of the winery?

- We currently have a total capacity of 1,800,000 litres, which is divided into 550,000 litres in stainless steel tanks and 1,200,000 litres in underground concrete tanks. We also have a barrel room in which we have more than 250 barrels, mostly 225 litre French oak barrels, we have some 500 litre barrels and some 600 litre roll fermentors.


Punto Final Chardonnay Reserva 2019

Varietal: 100% Chardonnay (Vista Flores, Uco Valley, Mendoza)

Ageing: 35% of the wine spends 6 months in French oak barrels.

Sight: Yellow colour with golden hues.

Nose: Fruity aromas reminiscent of white peach, green apple, melon, with honey aromas behind.

Palate: Balanced entry, with moderate acidity that contributes to the freshness, we find flavours reminiscent of peach, honey, unctuousness provided in the mouth by its time in oak, medium finish.

Personal opinion: Excellent balance achieved between the components that spent time in oak and those that did not, this achieves that the wood only contributes structure in the mouth. We find a good Chardonnay, in nose we find aromas of fruits such as peach, melon and green apple, behind appear aromas of honey that finish rounding the nose, in mouth we find a very balanced entry followed by a just acidity to give a touch of freshness, we find a good unctuousness contributed by the barrel which contributes to the structure in mouth and on the end of mouth appears a juiciness that gives it a medium persistence. Ideal to accompany white meats, rice dishes and cheese platters.

Punto Final Malbec Reserva 2019

Varietal: 100% Malbec (Altamira, Vista Flores, Valle de Uco - Pedriel, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza)

Ageing: 10 - 12 months in French oak barrels.

Appearance: Dark red colour with violet tones and fine tears with a quick drop.

Nose: Intense, with aromas of ripe plums and strawberries, followed by aromas of vanilla, tobacco and liqueur.

Palate: Sweet entry, great complexity, it is unctuous, with soft and round tannins characteristic of the varietal, we feel more blackberries and vanilla that leaves a pleasant and persistent finish.

Personal opinion: Malbec totally balanced between freshness and complexity, with an incredible and lively colour. On the nose it is very expressive and if we take the time we will discover many aromas (blackberries, plum, tobacco, cassis, clove). On the palate it is surprisingly sweet but balanced, with good smoothness and a very pleasant finish.

Renacer Cabernet Franc 2018

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc (70% Vista Flores, Valle de Uco, 30% Pedriel, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza)

Ageing: 24 months in first and second use French oak barrels, followed by 6 months in bottle.

Appearance: deep red colour with bluish reflections and tones, clean, slightly thicker and fast-falling tears.

Nose: surprisingly intense aromas of ripe fruit such as strawberries, we find aromas of roasted peppers. Some floral and herbaceous aromas are also present.

Palate: balanced entry, round tannins, here we can notice a little salinity given by the character of the soil, ripe fruit flavours of blackberries, blueberries and roasted peppers, nice and persistent mineral finish.

Personal opinion: This Cabernet Franc combines the freshness of the Uco Valley and the structure of Luján de Cuyo, where the characteristics of the varietal are enhanced, with great freshness, very balanced acidity and well-worked tannins, very fruity in the mouth. Both in the nose and in the mouth we find very pleasant aromas and flavours of roasted peppers, typical of the varietal. Without fear to say that we are in front of a great exponent of how to achieve a great Cabernet Franc. Ideal to drink it with good pasta with red sauces, with a good stew. Undoubtedly to have more than one bottle in the cellar.

Renacer Milamore 2018

Varietals: 45% Malbec - 40% Cabernet Sauvignon - 10% Bonarda - 5% Cabernet Franc (Uco Valley - Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza)

Ageing: 12 months in French oak barrels.

Sight: Red colour with strong ruby tones.

Nose: We find aromas of sultanas, fruity aromas reminiscent of raspberry, blackberry, behind we find spicy notes reminiscent of black pepper.

Palate: Sweet entry, good structure, round tannins, flavours reminiscent of the fruits mentioned in the nose, without being a sweet wine, a pleasant sweetness persists slightly.

Personal opinion: A different proposal from the winery, a wine that has a part elaborated with sun-dried grapes so that they are dehydrated, it also has a part of the Blend that is not aged in oak, and a part of the Blend that is aged in barrels, which makes it a very complete wine. On the nose we find aromas reminiscent of sultanas, aromas of ripe fruit reminiscent of raspberries and blackberries, it also has spicy aromas (I recommend paying close attention to your nose while enjoying it). On the palate it has a somewhat sweet entry, with great structure, well-worked tannins, flavours reminiscent of the fruits mentioned on the nose, some balsamic flavours, on the end of mouth appears an attenuated sweetness. Undoubtedly a different wine, ideal to accompany a cheese board.

News Source: El Memo Diario.

Note: Ignacio Borras.


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