Established in 2005, Espiritu de Argentina is a joint venture between Chilean wine producer, Aresti, owner of the Espiritu brand, and Finca Agostina in Mendoza. The fruit is sourced mainly from the Maipu district of Mendoza, from a combination of Agostina's own vineyards and a number of top rated independent growers, whose total production is purchased each year as part of a long-term relationship, enabling the company to ensure quality consistently. The medium sized and modern winery is located in Barrancas with a total crush capacity of 3.5 million litres and is geared to making modern, fresh, fruit driven wines in the lower price spectrum.
Their wines originate mainly from Eastern Mendoza, one of the 5 ‘oases’ of Mendoza Province and also from the Uco Valley. At between 1,000-1,500 metres above sea level, where they have abundant sunshine, dry air (and thus very little in the way of pests and diseases common to vines grown in other countries), and where they carefully irrigate the vines so that the fruit reaches optimum ripeness and quality for production. They are amongst the highest vineyards in the world. Their philosophy is simply to make the very best that nature will allow, each year, and to be true to their magnificent and historic terroir, whilst offering the best possible value to consumers.
Jon Usabiaga began his career as winemaker's assistant at Viña Portal del Alto, owned by the prominent oenologist Alejandro Hernández – the first Chilean to hold a seat at the board of the OIV (Office International de la Vigne et du Vin). Then Jon was appointed chief winemaker at Luis Felipe Edwards in 1996, where he worked for almost 10 years. He joined their team in December 2005. His work has been profoundly recognized after receiving numerous awards and medals.
A manual harvest took place in the 3rd week of March, maceration occurred over 24 days, alcoholic fermentation took place at 24 degrees C, with two peaks at 27 degrees C with selected yeast. Malolactic fermentation was induced and the wine was fined by racking and aged in French and American oak for six months.
Shiraz is of course also known in its native France as Syrah and is responsible for a wide range of single varietal wines, from fairly light everyday, to very concentrated reds that are built to last. Its profound personality, often identified by a hallmark whiff of spice/pepper on the nose, is well known and this is partly what makes this grape a great blending partner also. Here, you can see that touch of spice on the nose, coupled with attractive red berry fruits such as raspberry and strawberry. This Shiraz is fairly full-bodied but made in a soft, succulent style that is perfect for drinking in its youth.