In the framework of the premiere Bordeaux Wine Week, the Wine Travel Awards presentation and an exclusive tasting from Vinos de La Luz (three wines received platinum medal and 97 points at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022) took place in the Cité du Vin on Wednesday, June 22nd, from 10 a.m. to noon. Among the guests of the event, there were the WTA winners, members of the WTA panel of judges, representatives of the French wine community – from students of oenology and sommelier of local restaurants to leading distributors and Director of Conseil des Grands Crus Classés 1855.
Bordeaux is home to many must-see sites, where one can dive into the city’s history, deepen one’s knowledge of wine and winemaking, and taste a large selection of crus classés. And one of such sites is the Cité du Vin, a WTA nominee and partner that celebrates the richness and diversity of wine’s culture and heritage. The museum of architectural marvel warmly hosted the WTA presentation & Wine tasting from Vinos de La Luz, sponsor of the Wine & Food Influencer Nomination in WTA 2021-2022.
To begin, Oleksandra Hryhorieva, WTA project Lead, introduced guests to the Wine Travel Awards: its concept of a global project in the wine tourism industry with an inclusive format uniting both businesses and personalities in it; the results of the first-year successful campaign; and its aspirations for the second edition starting on September 1st.
In her words of support, Florence Maffrand, Marketing and Partnership manager at La Cité du Vin, underlined the Ukrainian origin of the project and its staff, as well as the importance of work that the WTA team has been doing despite the circumstances. That is why the Cité du Vin as a partner keeps supporting and working with WTA and Drinks+ teams in different directions.
Stéphane Badet, WTA jury, lecturer at Institute of Vine and Wine Science at the University of Bordeaux, shared the idea of Ms. Maffrand adding that for him personally it was crucial to contribute his time and expertise to such a project as the Wine Travel Awards as he closely cooperates with winemakers from different countries, including Ukraine. Experience in the wine and wine tourism industries provide him with a different perspective which he used in the process of defining the WTA winners in the categories ‘Must Visit’ and ‘Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country’.
Keeping the spirit of the celebration of the first successful campaign year after the WTA Ceremony in London, a couple of WTA winners coming from France – Wine Paths as Ambassador of the Year and Tanisha Townsend (Unique Route) – were awarded at the event in Bordeaux. New prosperous names of the wine tourism industry were revealed.
The second part of the program was devoted to the exclusive wine tasting from Vinos de La Luz group of companies – Travel to the Wine Through the Terroir! Doctor Ricardo Nunez, founder and General Director of Vinos de La Luz, was leading guests through this extraordinary wine tasting journey together with Pablo Tasso, Sommelier, Director of the board of international Brand Ambassadors of Vinos de La Luz.
First three wines are 100% Malbec and come from the Uco Valley, Argentina. The highest altitude of the hills, where the vines protected by the endless mountain are grown, is around 1500 metres.
“These wines are mostly all about terroir, but not mainly. It is also about the variety. Malbec is a fresh, elegant, really nice and almost sexy variety that can give us a lot of pleasure,” assures Pablo Tasso. “Malbec has a lot of different expressions: it could be complex, it could be almost intellectual, or it could express simplicity and a straightforward message”.
RELATOS DEL CALLEJON MALBEC 2020, winery La Luz del Vino (Valle de Uco, Mendoza). Platinum medal and 97 points at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022.
This is a medium range wine (100% Malbec). Selected yeasts. Alcoholic fermentation under strict temperature control for 20 days. Natural malolactic fermentation while it ages in the barrel. It combines aromas of plums and blackberries with notes of cinnamon, black pepper, and lavender. This is a complex wine, with a good structure and soft, ripe tannins. It is balanced, with a persistent finish featuring toasty flavors.
Origin: Vista Flores, Tunuyán – Uco Valley, Mendoza
Soil: Sandy loam with alluvial sediments.
Aging: 8 months in French oak barrels
CALLEJON DEL CRIMEN MALBEC SINGLE VINEYARDS GUALTALLARY 2019, winery La Luz del Vino (Valle de Uco, Mendoza). Platinum medal and 97 points at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022.
This wine is quite different from the first one. Lower in yeasts. Alcoholic fermentation for about 30 days: 70% in stainless steel tanks and 30% in oak foudres under strict temperature control (24°C to 30°C). Pure, fresh Malbec, full of textures. Deep, intense red color with violet hints. In the nose it is deep, intense, and complex. The characteristic aromas of this wonderful micro-region stand out: chalk, damp stone, and slate. In the mouth there is sharp red fruit and a balanced, unctuous, silky structure, with a great mineral finish.
Origin: Plot #2 at Gualtallary, Tupungato – Uco Valley at 1,300 m (3,450 ft) asl.
Soil: Alluvial and sandy, with stones of various sizes (many of them volcanic) and different sized boulders. High calcareous component.
Aging: 12 months in French oak barrels.
CALLEJON DEL CRIMEN BLEND DE TERROIRS MALBEC 2019, winery La Luz del Vino (Valle de Uco, Mendoza). Platinum medal and 97 points at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022.
A blend with great character. A deep violet wine, surprisingly bright over a black background. It leaves notable legs. On the nose there are notes of ripe black plum and hints of minerals and spices. In the mouth, the wine is elegant and expressive, with silky, velvety tannins. There are notes of chocolate and tobacco from its aging in French oak barrels.
Origin: Grapes from the different estates are used in varying proportions depending on the characteristics of each vintage. This Blend of Malbecs from the Uco Valley has 50% from the estate at Gualtallary, 20% from Paraje Altamira, 20% from Pampa El Cepillo and 10% from the estate at Vista Flores.
Soil: Diverse soils of alluvial origin.
Aging: 12 months in 160- and 225-litre French oak barrels, plus 12 months’ storage in the bottle.
After three wines awarded with platinum medal and 97 points at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022, we proceeded with tasting of four ILUMINADO wines – an icon brand of Vinos de La Luz. It represents the best expression of each country where the company produces wines – Italy, Spain, USA and Argentina. It is the first time in history when four Iluminado wines were tasted all together.
Pablo Tasso notes: “These wines are in the company’s DNA; they are our fingerprint that trying to let the terroir express itself. They are messages that the terroir communicates. The terroir gives us a script for a further production.”
ILUMINADO VINOS DE LA LUZ Toscana IGT 2015, Montalcino, Italy (100% Sangiovese). Berliner Wine Trophy 2020, Gold Medal.
Intense ruby red color. The nose shows black and red berries, vanilla connotations and enveloping fresh balsamic notes. In the mouth it is consistent and coherent with de olfactory expression, and at the same time tonic and creamy. It has an excellent persistence, linked both the mineral component and sweet tannin.
Vineyard: Loamy and clayey soils located at 200 meters distance from Orcha river, with southeast orientation (between 10 – 12o inclination) at the bottom of Amiata mountain in Montalcino, the heart of the I.G.T. Tuscany denomination. Here, 20-year-old vines deliver the highest expression of quality in the region.
Winemaking process: Fermentation in conical oak trunk vats, with temperature control and selected yeasts. 12 month-aging in new French oak barrels, then stabilized and bottled.
ILUMINADO VINOS DE LA LUZ Tempranillo 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain. 95 PTS. Guía Vinos Gourmets 2020.
Cherry red color. On the nose it presents black fruit with toasted notes, spices and leather due to its aging in new French oak barrels. On the mouth it is complex and vibrant with a dense body and sharp acidity. A powerful and well-structured wine, but at the same time, soft and velvety. Thanks to this power, balance and finesse it is a real pleasure for the palate.
Vineyard: More than 70-year-old vines. Ribera del Duero is characterized by its reddish an iron-rich soils that border the Duero River, within one of the best winegrowing, continental weather in Europe.
Winemaking process: Meticulous cluster selection. Alcoholic fermentation at 28 oC and malolactic fermentation in 160-liter French oak barrels for 18 months.
ILUMINADO VINOS DE LA LUZ SYRAH 2018, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, California.
Deep ruby-red to purple color. On the nose, dark fruits with notes of blackberry and blueberry, thanks to its aging in French oak barrels. You can also appreciate other aromas like licorice, herbs and clove. It is a bold and full-bodied wine, with high tannins and medium acidity, which will be remembered as an age-worthy and deeply pleasurable experience.
Vineyard: Vineyards of more than 30 years old. Due to its eastern orientation, the sun rises high above to ripen these Syrah grapes. Grown in California’s Central Coast Santa Maria Valley these grapes are sourced from the Bien Nacido vineyard, where we have identified a very special sector: the Z Block. The coastal climate, with cool Pacific fog, generates long harvest seasons, an ideal environment for making a red with personality, freshness and balance.
Winemaking process: The wine was fermented in a small stainless-steel tank with a third of a whole cluster. Then, it was aged in François Frères French-oak barrels for 18 months.
ILUMINADO MALBEC PARAJE ALTAMIRA 2015, Valle de Uco, Argentina. Best Argentinian Wine, Best Wine of South America, Top 50th in the World, 97 pts. Decanter, BEST IN SHOW.
Deep red color with very intense black and blue hints. On the nose ripe red and black fruits are perceived with delicate mineral notes. These aromas harmonize with subtle notes of tobacco, vanilla and chocolate due to its aging. A complex and vibrant wine, sharp acidity, great volume and persistence.
Vineyard: I.G. Paraje Altamira vineyard expresses the quality of Uco Valley. This terroir is characterized by its extreme climate, heterogeneous and stony soils covered with calcium carbonate, sand, and fine alluvial sediments.
Winemaking process: Meticulous cluster selection. Alcoholic fermentation in European cone-shaped oak vats. 12-month aging in French oak barrels of 160 and 225 liters, subsequent stabilization in the bottle for another 12 months.
Doctor Ricardo Nunez also drew the curtains sharing the company’s aspiration to develop the Iluminado line in Ukraine. He believes that Odesa Black, a Ukrainian flagship variety, could become a valuable asset to the brand. Sharing the idea of wines made from grapes from historic vineyards located at the most outstanding wine regions, the terroir by the Black Sea through hybrid variety Odesa Black can provide that very script for the creation of an outstanding wine from Ukraine.
Talking about the future, if you are interested in having your company, brands and services more integrated and visible in the competitive wine and wine tourism world, and to highlight your business for the period of 2022 to 2023, please join us. From the 1st of September, the Wine Travel Awards 2022-2023 open its doors. Follow the early bird registration until the 1st of December!
Author: Oleksandra Hryhorieva