How to choose Mexican winesJul 14, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in WineThe Bottom Line Mexican commercial winemaking dates from 1593 and now is producing several very good wines at competitive prices. The main production area is close to the American border.
Although winemaking in the former "kingdom of New Spain", now Mexico (or the remains of it, after the American annexation of California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas in 1847), dates from the early 16th. century, the altitude and climate in this country, in general, is not well suited to viticulture; the best soils and microclimates can be found in the northern part of the California peninsula and, arguably, in north-central Coahuila state (Parras district), where the very first America's commercial winery was established by Don Francisco de Urdiñola in 1593.
Mexican way to rate wines is closely related to Spanish law and custom; a normal wine will not have any special designation, only the brand, producer, vintage year and, possibly, grape variety; best wines in Mexico are rated "Reserva" (alas, we still don't have any "Gran Reserva").
Nowadays, the better Mexican wines are being produced in Baja California, where a group of investors have been developing locally grown "Monte Xanic" varietal wines. I would suggest tasting their 1996 or 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot; although they are now ready to be enjoyed, they also have good ageing potential (five to ten years).
From L.A. Cetto I would recommend "Reserva Privada 1993", a bordalese-type blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, aged in wood. All Cetto wines are made from grapes grown in Valle de Guadalupe (Baja California), a few miles south from Tijuana.
"Vino de Piedra" is a new brand from Baja California to be followed and enjoyed; it is being made by the same wine-master who in 1996 and 1997, when working for Santo Tomás winery (Coahuila), created the truly remarkable "Duetto" wine in a joint-venture with Wente Brothers (USA).
Tasting other wines, apart from the above mentioned, could be a little adventurous, but never risky.
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