For a long time, we looked to introduce a really good entry-level white to the range, but we wanted something a bit different, not just another Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay blend, and this didn't come easy. So, when Mauricio Lorca told us he'd purchased a vineyard in the east of Mendoza planted with old vine Pedro Ximenez, our eyebrows were raised. To be honest, we were expecting something clean, zippy and fresh, but fairly neutral on the nose. What a pleasant surprise, then, to find a wine offering a delightful flurry of inviting aromatics and lots of juicy-ripe citrus fruit, yes, but also lifted herbaceous notes, dried flowers and summer straw. This lovely little wine is more like an Albarino than a run-of-the-mill Pinot Grigio, with lots to get stuck into, great balance and structure and an excellent finish.
We are in the privileged position of being able to say this about a number of our winemakers, least not the giant talent that is Mauricio Lorca. Mauricio did well at school and college and was all set to go to medical school to train to be a doctor until one day a group of viticulture students came to give a talk to his year group. Mauricio went home to tell his Mum... I'm going to be a winemaker! What a shock that must have been for proud Mrs Lorca. What a stroke of luck for us. This was more than 20 years ago when winemaking wasn't such a reputable career as it has become these days. Mauricio got straight down to it and worked his way up the ladder with winemaking roles at Catena, Luigi Bosca and Finca La Celia, sometimes taking risky decisions in the vineyards in order to prove a point to dissenting voices around him who were less open to change than he, and to fine tune a style that he has pioneered in Mendoza - top class wines without any oak ageing. Mauricio's high density, high altitude vineyards are in his beloved Vista Flores in the Uco Valley; and his ever expanding, though still relatively small, winery is situated in Luj�n de Cuyo. It's a no-frills operation with the energy and solid work ethic of every employee channelled into getting the job done. There's an honesty about the place that comes across in the wines, which range from the cracking, clean as a whistle Fantasia range of inexpensive single varietals right up to the dizzy heights of Lorca Inspirado, one of the best super-premium blends we have ever tasted. Mauricio Lorca's talents as a top consultant are very much in demand throughout Argentina; but it's at home in his own winery in Perdriel, Luj�n, that his college daydream comes to life with these great wines.�