Yancochuya red wines, which grow over 2,000 m high in the Calchaquíes Valleys, have become a typical exponent of Argentinian enology in a few years.
We knew that in the land of the sun and the wine there was a famous “treasure”, as we have called it in our Argentinian Wines section.
Yacochuya is only 8 kilometers from Cafayate, 2,035 meters over sea level, which makes its terroir something unique and matchless. This was thought by the famous Pomerol enologist Michel Rolland when he joined Arnaldo Etchart to exploit 16 hectares spreading on the slopes of the Salta pre-mountain range.
At about five in the afternoon, Marcos Etchart was expecting us at the estate. Just as he had anticipated, it was the best time to admire the vineyard landscape that reaches the Yacochuya River, “clear water” in the quechua language.
It is a privileged nook in one of the highest wine-growing areas in the world. It is the gold cradle of two of the sublime red wines in the country: the San Pedro de Yacochuya, malbec with a touch of cabernet sauvignon, and the premium Yacochuya, plain, without adjectives but with the very signature of Rolland.
Over 2,000 m high
In the Calchaquíes Valleys
Is only 8 kilometers from Cafayate
The land of the sun and the wine
Marcos invited us to see the winery. No sooner had we entered than he extracted a glass of malbec from the barrels for us to taste. 27° C, in the very process of maceration, the intense color and the alcoholic strength are still impossed on the wine.
Rolland and Etchart are not mistaken in undertaking the red wines in the land of the classic and distinguished torronteses, which occupy 2 hectares of the state as compared to the 9 hectares of malbec, the 4 hectares of cabernet sauvignon and the remaining hectare of tannat.
Originally Spanish, the Yacochuya torrontés stands out due to its fruit and floral aromas, dry and intense taste in the mouth. The red San Pedro, 85% malbec and 15% cabernet, presents richness and complexity, a perfume of berries and important structure in the mouth, with soft tannins. For the Yacochuya 2000, it is enough to say that the expert enologists define it as a complex, authentic and personal wine, voluptuous, intense in color and with a long taste following the bouquet. Eight generous years ago, these magnificent red wines emerged, thus marking a new profile in the Calchaquíes wines.
Pure Red Wines
As he kept balancing the glass in his hand, Marcos explained to us the neat process step by step.
The winery has a production capacity of 90 thousand liters and it is equipped with the highest technology. The 60-year-old red varieties grow in the “espaldero” modality -vine rows consisting of two stakes, one at each end, joined by wires to guide growth in a vertical direction. They are irrigated by furrows with spring waters. The sun, the temperature amplitude and the characteristics of a soil blessed by its richness give it the final details to make them unique in their kind.
Once this long and delicate road has been walked along, both the San Pedro and the Yacochuya have to be tracked down in the most select wine shops or in the menus of some privileged restaurants in the country. Because, having won prizes and been distinguished by masters of enology, the Yacochuyas have known well how to earn a position in the international market and become popular as two of the best wines in Argentina.
Robert Parker Jr., contemporary eminence on the subject, gave the Yacochuya 2000 93 points, the Wine Spectator granted it 91 and the Decanter, 5 stars. Proudly, Marcos makes some comments about the winery future projects. Quite right too, together with Rolland, the Etcharts will continue harvesting success with these magnificent red wines from Salta.
Karina Jozami Eduardo Epifanio
Contact of the excursion or tour
San Pedro de Yacochuya
Cafayate (4427) Cafayate, Salta
Tel: +54 3868-421233
See more points of interest in Cafayate