I approached our visit to Karim Mussi Saffie back in March somewhat warily as his reputation as one of the South American wine industry’s shining lights left me just a tad over-cautious. Superstar winemaker is a term bandied around far too frequently and all too often its use heralds the arrival of an array of technically perfect but frequently “over-engineered” wines that demonstrate no small amount of technical prowess but a more modest grasp of balance and elegance – in Karim’s case my sense of caution was entirely misplaced.
His winery in La Consulta, currently regarded as the most exciting of Argentina’s wine-growing regions, is a wonderful exhibition of vinification hi-tech from across the ages with ancient basket presses nudging up alongside thermo-vinifiers. Before entering the 19th century building you are met with Banksy’s Pulp Fiction mural which, perhaps, serves as an indication of Karim’s approach – that wine is ultimately there for pleasure and enjoyment and, whilst its production should be approached seriously, its consumption should be fun and far from serious.
The tasting itself was a revelation as Karim unveiled a succession of stellar offerings; whilst our week in Argentina unearthed numerous great wines, nowhere else did we experience a tasting that was so consistently spectacular – the addition of Karim’s engaging commentary was an added bonus.
I can’t tell you how excited we are to welcome Karim to Arch 13 for a one-off tasting on July 15th; 6+ wines including Tim Atkin MW’s blended white of the year - Paradoux Blanc de Blancs. Throw cheeses from Arch 13 into the mix and all for £15.00 per head, that’s got to be worth coming out on a Monday night for.