Monday, February 26, 2007

Mexican wines have improved !

15 - 20 years ago friends and I would go to a great French restaurant in Mexicali, but the problem would always be the wine. French wines cost as much as the meal. Most Mexican wines (like Santo Thomas) weren't much good. Then we discovered Chilean wines (the first I'd ever had) and enjoyed them. But over the years, fine wine production in the Guadalupe Valley (the valley between Ensenada and Tecate) has gotten much better.

I am especially fond of LA Cetto's Nebbiolo - which imho is as good or better than any California nebbiolos of my acquaintance. I have had some good Mexican Chenin Blancs also.From a webpage of an English wineseller: "We cannot speak too highly of L.A. Cetto wines, as verified by wine writers Joanna Simon, Oz Clarke, Paul Levy and many others. The winery has just celebrated it's 75th Anniversary and is now, more than ever, producing wines of top international quality at different price points.

Cetto wines have been snatching medals at wine challenges all over the world for the past couple of decades. Most recently the 2002 Petite Sirah was highly recommended at the London International Wine Challenge 2004. The 1996 Nebbiolo won a silver medal at the London International Wine Challenge 2003 and the 1999 won a gold medal at Vinitaly 2004 competing against some of the top Barolo's in Italy!"

Even more expensive Mexican wines are being made - Monte Xanic comes to mind - but I have not tried most of them, as I haven't done much fine dining in Mexico in the last few years, and customs limits me to bringing back one bottle each time I go en el otro lado.Hopefully, one of these days, I will get to Laja - supposedly a truly excellent restaurant in the Mexican wine country which features local produce and local wines. It would be nice to sample a variety of what they are producing now.

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