Monday, August 20, 2012



By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA. Bring an esteemed French winemaker like Patrick D’Aulan to Argentina, let him work magic with the land growing and harvesting his selection of grapes with a goal of making fine wines you will get New World wines that have many of the characteristics of a noble Bordeaux.  “I work with wine,” the ebullient D’Aulan said during lunch,  “because it’s in my DNA and my family has been making wine for 150 years.” The owner of Alta Vista winery in Mendoza, Argentina Patrick D’Aulan uncorked a few of his bottles for a trio of journalists last week at Chops in Atlanta’s Buckhead, and no matter the dish served, the wine fit nicely.

Patrick D’Aulan is philosophical about the future of his wines in Argentina, particularly Malbec. He views it as a relationship built from “expressing a terroir through a single variety. Malbec is our focus and we produce it in different styles according to different terroirs.”

Patrick’s family once owned Champagne Piper-Heidsieck and said that he “was probably born with Champagne in my blood.” His high regard for Malbec, a varietal with origins in Bordeaux, took him to Argentina where Malbec has gained global prominence. D’Aulan, the first winemaker to create single vineyard Malbec, proceeded to lead us through a lunchtime tasting of Alta Vista’s Classic, Premium, and Luxury tiers, including its famous flagship wine, Alto,

In quality, Alta Vista is a league above earlier omnipresent and very ordinary Malbec that once fought for bottom shelf retail space. This regal wine from Argentina reflects all the attention to detail you would expect from a man who, when he was born, had a drop of Champagne placed behind his ear. True to his mission to produce Bordeaux quality wine in Argentina, Patrick D’Aulan brought the best of both the old and new world to lunch in Atlanta.

2012 is "The Year of Alabama Food." Here's one of the culinary adventures in Mobile:

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