Winemaking or playing number 8 for the Pumas?

Mauricio Lorca, owner and winemaker at Bodega Y Vinedos Mauricio Lorca, is one of Argentina’s finest winemakers. His superb wines are now available to buy online in the UK.

Mauricio has been head winemaker at boutique winery Enrique Foster for a number of years, and before that learned his trade at such famous wineries as Catena and Luigi Bosca. Since his talents have been widely recognised, he is now also a consultant winemaker for a number of other wineries, but far more excitingly has his own winery and vineyards where he has free reign to make the style of wines he chooses.

His vineyards are in arguably one of the best sites in all Argentina – Vista Flores in the Uco Valley about 50 miles outside Mendoza, while his winery is a little nearer Mendoza in Lujan de Cuyo.

Mauricio is uniquely known for his non use of oak in some (but certainly not all of his wines). His Opalo range are completely unoaked, letting the fruit do all the talking. To make top wines in this style you need optimum quality fruit and oodles of winemaking ability, not to mention a suitable winery. Mauricio’s winery uses concrete fermenting tanks (as opposed to wood or stainless steel) which enable him to both ferment and more importantly mature his Opalo wines without any wood contact.

But Mauricio does use quality French oak for his other wines. Fantasia is his “entry level” – good quality wines at affordable prices for everyday drinking. To break into the UK market Mauricio was persuaded by Naked Wines to make them some own label wines (which were branded “Lirico” I believe). Mauricio had to balance the risk to his reputation against the publicity to get his wines on sale in the UK. Reading the reviews on Naked Wines’ own website these Lirico wines didn’t exactly blow anybody away (nearly all mention the word “thin”), but that is the risk taken when wines are made on price not ability and passion.

The good news is that his Fantasia wines are significantly better and they’re basically the same price. Mauricio uses quality fruit, all hand harvested into small boxes (20kg) to avoid damage. For his Fantasia wines, the reds are part oaked (30%) while the whites are pure with no wood contact. These wines are really good everyday drinking wines with good fruit structure and some complexity, ideal with food.

But it’s when you get onto Mauricio’s Poetico range that you see just how good his wines really are. While his unoaked Opalo wines are delicious with real fruit expression, his Poetico wines combine this fruit with French oak to make some of the best wines in Argentina.

At the time of writing this Mauricio’s wines were only available through Argentine wine specialist and but it’s likely some other retailers will take them on. Goodwineonline offer a “next working day” delivery to anywhere mainland UK, while Argentinewineonline offer set day delivery depending on your location via London City Bond’s courier service, so Mauricio’s wines are accessible to just about everybody in the UK.