It all started on a bus

Like so much else, it was all a coincidence. Or was it perhaps fate?
The first day of ProWein is always filled with anticipation, excitement, and a certain amount of chaos.
After a good breakfast, the idea was to take a bus to the exhibition centre on the outskirts of the city. I know where I’m going. I know the number of the bus. But not where exactly that bus leaves from. A not unimportant piece of information in this particular context.
I spot a fellow female traveller who radiates the same slight confusion as probably myself. A short question confirms what I suspected, we are going to the same place and we are equally (un)sure on how to get there.
We quickly decide to be confused together and join forces. On the bus, which we found quite quickly, Lis Clément tells me about her wines.

The wine of Argentina

She is from Argentina, and of course I quickly set my mind on Malbec and Mendoza.
Well, half right.
We are indeed in the Mendoza region. But even though Lis grows Malbec, the focus is more on other, local grapes. Does Argentina have local grapes? This is a question that can and should be debated. If two European varieties are crossed, spontaneously or deliberately, is it a local variation, even if the same crossing has happened before on another continent?
I’ll leave the genetics and that discussion to the experts and say that no matter what the grape is called, Lis makes very good wines!

The devastating night

I am particularly fond of La Cielito from 2023.
Perhaps it’s the story behind it? Lis tells how on the night of 31 October 2022 the frost destroys almost the entire vineyard. Many would have given up at this point. But instead they decide to give it a chance. Lis describes how they search among dead leaves and branches to find the grapes that survived. It is probably with many prayers these grapes a few months later are pressed and after fermentation are allowed to rest in concrete tanks. But what a wine it becomes!

The wine!

It is an elegant Lady that meets me in the glass. The aroma is fruity, clean and clear. With notes of both dark berries and flowering roses.
The flavour is long and pleasant. The dark berries are back, but now mixed with notes of dark chocolate, red berries and with a wonderful harmonious intensity.
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” as the saying goes. The night of frost in October ’22 helped create a full-bodied wine that will only get better with age.

The future

Sometimes fate takes us down unplanned paths, leading to budding friendships and great wines.
Lis says that La Cielito is her first ‘own’ wine. I’m really looking forward to following her journey and I’m sure the next wine will be if possible even better.

Maria Scharffenberg
Sommelier and teacher