Malcolm Jolley talks to Jorge Crotta about La Escuela vinyard in Paraje Altamira…

Finca La Escuela is a small holding of the Argentine producer TintoNegro. TintoNegro was formed about a decade ago from two veterans of of the renown Mendoza producer, Catena Zapata, Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach, who were joined shortly after by Jorge Crotta, himself a veteran of Catena. La Escuela is located at the southern (read cooler) end of Mendoza, in the Uco Valley, in the sub-region of San Carlos. It is even more geographically distinguished as it part of the ‘IG’ of Paraje Altamira, where vineyards lie between 1,000 and 1,500 metres above sea level. The rows of Malbec at La Escuela run over several types of soils, and Sjanovich, Mausbach and Crotta decided to make ‘single soil’ wines specifically from vines rooted in each of the four distinct types: sand, silt, rocks and gravel.

The Finca La Escuela La Grava Malbec 2017 (LCBO#547851 | $24.95) is the single soil wine from the gravel parts of the vineyard, and a limited allotment of it is included in the May 1st, LCBO Vintages release. It’s very much a ‘new wave’, food friendly Argentine wine: fresh, full of red to black berry fruit and easy on the oak. Impressed with the 2017 La Grava, and wanting to know more, I connected with Jorge Crotta by Zoom this week to learn more about the project and record the video interview below.

Email versions of this post may not display video, click here to see it at GFR.