La Mascota: The Secret Of The Best Wine In The World

Walter Raymond

This Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon won one of the most coveted prizes at the Vinalies Internationales contest, in France. Here is the story behind this outstanding achievement.

In the recent Vinalies International 2018 contest, the Cabernet Sauvignon of La Mascota Vineyards, a select winery located at the foot of the Andes Mountain Range, has been distinguished as the best red wine in the world. To know details of such a singular achievement, we interviewed the respected enologist Rodolfo “Opi” Sadler, its creator.

The La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon wine (front). / All images: © 2018 La Mascota Vineyards, Argentina.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a body wine, with fruity aromas and intense dark red or ruby, with faint violet notes. It is an elegant drink with a well defined personality that acquires its fullness softened in oak and aged in the bottle.

The genetic tracking of Cabernet Sauvignon, conducted by the team of researchers led by Dr. Carole Meredith, from the Davis University of California, was able to determine its ascendancy in the French native varieties Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc. It is speculated that the practice, extended during the twelfth century, of cultivating different varieties in a vineyard to produce a single wine, especially in French Bordeaux, has given rise to such an exquisite combination.

Reasons for a prize

We asked Rodolfo Sadler, about the reasons for having chosen to develop Cabernet Sauvignon in Argentina. “Malbec is the characteristic varietal of Argentina, for which the country is recognized worldwide,” he says. “However, Argentina is not just Malbec. In the country an exceptional Cabernet is produced. We considered that we could not leave Cabernet out of our portfolio, the king of international red varieties.”

Vino Cabernet Sauvignon La Mascota
Rodolfo “Opi” Sadler, creator of Cabernet Sauvignon winner de La Mascota.

This recognition is a historical fact for the southern country, since it is the first time that an Argentine Cabernet receives the highest distinction worldwide. For Sadler, it is also symbolic that the competition took place in Vinalies, France, a region historically associated with a Cabernet of excellence. “Having conquered this award with our Cabernet reaffirms our path and, in addition, revalues ​​the enormous benefits of the Argentine Cabernet and the great potential of our country’s grapes, “says Sadler, with enormous enthusiasm.

Grapes Cabernet Sauvignon.

In search of excellence

Sadler recalls that in 2005, with the vision of becoming a premium Argentine wine winery, a team of agronomists and winemakers began working at Finca La Mascota, a vineyard located in the region of Cruz de Piedra, province of Mendoza . In that place there is a remarkable combination of soils, waters of the Mendoza River and fresh breezes coming from the high mountains and the river, which generate a wide temperature range between day and night. This convergence of factors is ideal for the cultivation of superior quality grapes, which gave rise to the Cabernet Sauvignon of La Mascota.

Finca La Mascota, Mendoza, Argentina.

After the incorporation of another vineyard in Valle de Uco, Mendoza, the experts focused on the fertile soil of both areas, known as two of the oldest and most prestigious wine regions in Argentina, this process gives grapes that allow the elaboration of wines with exceptional characteristics.

“In order to compete with the great wines of the world and penetrate the most demanding markets, our wines were developed with a cosmopolitan conception,” he says, “specializing in strains strategically chosen to conquer the world: Cabernet, Chardonnay and Malbec.”

In addition, La Mascota has an Extra Brut sparkling wine, but it is their Unanime wine that has achieved a strong presence in the United States. Raised in new French oak barrels for 20 months, Unanime is the highest-selling Argentine high-end wine in the US, and has been distinguished for the second consecutive year as number one in the “Top Wines of 2017” by Total Wine & More , the largest wine retailer in America.

Without a doubt, La Mascota’s excellence is the clearest way to success. ■

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