The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2010

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Page 85 of 112

WINE BRIEFS Re-Discovering production of an easily navigated wine at an equally easy price—heralds brand ownership by Constellation Wines U.S. W “Constellation contracted with us [Redwolf Brands LLC] to bring a certain style of Malbec to the States,” explains Federico Ballester, the Mendoza-born Managing Director who, with his three partners, created the brand, sold exclusively in the U.S. “The idea was to offer consumers a high-end style Malbec,” he notes, “and with these expectations to over- deliver with an appealing $11 suggested retail price.” Diseño’s 2009 vintage also launches new packaging with an iconic crest and a silver border to represent Argentine silversmiths (the name Argentina comes from the Spanish word for silver). Attesting to the wine’s food- worthy, easy-going character is Greg Amsler, owner of Salt Creek Celebrating the re-launch of Diseño are (left to right) John Burton of SW&S/SoCal; Greg Amsler, proprietor of Salt Creek Grille in Valencia, CA; Denise Cardamone with Constellation Wines U.S.; and Federico Ballester, Diseño Managing Director for Redwolf Brands LLC. Grille, the most popular—and possibly most upscale—restaurant in Valencia, a bedroom community north of Los Angeles. While four other Salt Creek Grilles exist (two in CA and one in NJ), he is sole owner of this particular location. Operating in high gear since 1999, the American eatery has historically carried only California wines on its list. But Amsler sees reason for expanding globally, and Diseño is his fi rst label from Argentina. “John Burton of SW&S helped me from day one to create an effective wine list,” says Amsler, whose menu offers everything from burgers and salads to steak and lobster. “The wine list covers the spectrum from low-end to high- priced bottles, and John also helped me with my ever-expanding wine-by-the- glass list. When I tasted Diseño, I knew that not only would this make a great introduction to my clientele for fruit-forward, lush reds from Argentina, but I put it on by-the-glass because it will go with so many of my food items. It’s in the same fl avor profi le as an elegant (and more expensive) red from Northern California. But its acid structure, minerality, satin texture and red raspberry notes sing the praise of Argentina.” —Meridith May september 2010 / the tasting panel / 85 Diseño elcome the re-launch of Diseño, an Argentinean old-vine Malbec sourced from two wineries located in two elite sub-districts in Mendoza, the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo. The 2009 vintage—a 65,000-case PHOTO: MERIDITH MAY

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