The time tunnel
Weinert is different. Winery and Cavas Weinert. As many say in every field, where wine is no exception, “Neither better nor worse, simply different.”
And there are very different arguments and points that hold that postulate in this case including the oenological aspects, through the origin and its architecture, to the nationality of its mentor, founder, and owner.
Bernardo Weinert, Brazilian and a businessman from the logistics world, falls in love with Mendoza on one of his trips to Chile. He discovers on San Martín street, in Lujan de Cuyo, a winery (or the ruins of it) and suddenly something wakes up in him.
Together with Don Raul de la Mota (iconic producer and protagonist of Argentinian wine in the last century), they began the reconstruction of that winery called Fontan, making it an icon for the production of high-end wines with the best technology at that time. Many barrels of the winery El Globo and Giol are purchased to form the collection of 233 casks that keep up to the present day.
We had the pleasure of being welcomed by Hubert Weber, winemaker of the winery since 1996. Swiss by birth and Argentinian by adoption, he arrived in Mendoza that year to do an internship. However, it was not meant to be a random destination: Hubert had tasted an Estrella Malbec from the winery in his native country, and since then their fates were intertwined. When the possibility of doing an internship abroad arose, he chose Argentina. More specifically Mendoza, at Weinert.
“There are almost none temperature controls during fermentation. It is there, in the highest degrees, where the wine can release the aromas that will withstand the passage of time we impose in the cellar.”
Says Hubert as we walk the ground floor of the winery where the historic cement pools are located.
When someone talks about the wineries having treasures and that each one has to discover their charms, sometimes it falls into a commonplace. But this is not the case. In the first aisle of casks and the only one in the plant we were, we found a barrel somehow unique. 44000 liters, about 4.5 meters high, and a weight that exceeds are some of the attributes of this masterpiece made by the Tonnellerie Adolph Fruhinholz at the end of 1800, originally from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. History and present time.
“Is it being used?” we dared to ask. “And why not?!” replied Hubert, detailing which varietal is in its current aging and for which line. He even mentioned that they would like to buy another one, although the high cost (USD 25.000) is an obstacle, even more so is the delivery time: 15 years.
As we make our way to the tasting room, we get lost between the passageways and the nooks of the underground — ancient bottles, all alive, waiting for their moment. Hubert slows us down and points at a particular barrel, the 111. He tells us to remember it, and then we will understand why.
After an intense and long journey, we tasted the complete portfolio of a winery that claims to be different, and its wines confirm it. According to the traditional School of Bordeaux, they ages in barrels of high volume which generate prolonged aging, elegant wines of a distinct style and with a distinctive aromatic palette.
- CARRASCAL. The entry level of the winery. Classic label during centuries in Argentina, totally in force and valued among markets. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and a blend called ‘Corte Clásico’. 3 years of cask and bottle aging.
- WEINERT. A tier through which they express the best and purest expression of each variety, those related to their adoption of Bordeaux school: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. 9 years of cask and bottle aging.
- CAVAS DE WEINERT. A unique blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, where they focus on the Bordeaux blend. 10 years of cask and bottle aging.
After those traditional tiers, stars come, we can say… ‘Tonel Único’ and ‘Estrellas‘. Extraordinary wines that they discover through decades, that they decide to label under these exclusive tiers. ‘Estrellas’ are not made, they are just born, as Bernardo Weinert uses to say.
And finally, we understand why Hubert pointed #111 cask. That tier is brand new, and it has two references so far. ‘Tonél Único 111’ and ‘183’ (Unique Cask). The concept behind this line is that, in a certain moment, it can happen that they discover an extraordinary wine in a certain cask, which could be meant to be part of a blend for example, and they, of course, decide to separate it and label it.
So different wines, and such a story, that no winelover can miss it.