"I work with a quiet passion. Winemaking is an art not limited by gender or age."
Winemaker Victoria "Vico" Prandina has a serene presence that sparks to life when she speaks of her wines. Truly born to spend her life among vines and cellars, Victoria said, "So much of my childhood was spent helping out in my great-grandfather’s vineyard, which my father now oversees. For as long as I can remember, there was no doubt in my mind that my future lay in winemaking.” Victoria has advanced degrees in winemaking and her passion and knowledge are abundantly clear in the superb Eolo Malbec that she produces for Trivento.
Trivento's portfolio of wines from Mendoza is popular with fans of Argentine wines but their high-end Eolo is something quite special. A super-premium, reserve, old-vines Malbec; Eolo ($79) is not your ubiquitous tasty but not particularly memorable Malbec, but an impressive reminder that the varietal can display tremendous elegance, finesse, and complexity. Eolo was named after the Greek god of the winds (Aeolus), and the name Trivento is also a tribute to the three influential winds that sweep through Mendoza.
The story of Eolo begins in the Luján de Cuyo zone of Mendoza with Malbec grapes from a 10-acre parcel of vines in a vineyard that was planted in 1912. This small section of vines lies on the north bank of the Mendoza River and the proximity of the river acts as a natural thermostat. Snow run-off water from the Andes Mountains is used to irrigate the Eolo vineyard via a traditional Mendocino method of surface furrows. These ancient vines have naturally low yields and the terroir also contributes to the concentrated flavor, excellent tannins, vibrant acidity, and intense color of the grapes. Put grapes of this caliber in the hands of a talented winemaker like Victoria, and you have the essence of what it takes to make a world-class Malbec like Eolo.
I had the pleasure of tasting the 2011, 2012, and 2013 vintages of Eolo with Victoria. She describes Eolo as a "wine of precision" and it displays a quiet power and complexity that develops beautifully in the glass. Sweet tannins, energetic acidity, and a touch of spice & minerality give impressive structure to Eolo's layers of intense but supple & juicy fruit flavors: blackberry, cherry, plum, and black fig. These wines age beautifully but don't be afraid to drink the younger vintages now. Pair Eolo with a medium-rare steak or lamb chops for a fantastic match. Hearty mushroom dishes and sharp cheeses would also be a tasty pairing. Cheers!