Wine Guide
Michel Rolland
Anyone who is even mildly interested in fine wine will have noticed that Argentina is now a national player on the world stage. And all this could be down to one man: Michel Rolland. French (bien sur), cultivated (mais oui) and one of the most influential figures of winemaking in the past 40 years (certainment), when it comes to wine in Argentina, Rolland has the Midas touch.
The flying Frenchman
Bordeaux-based, Rolland has made a name for himself by helping hundreds (to date, 250 and counting) of vineyards to discover their full potential, often opting towards a fruit-heavy, oak aged signature style. Yet it took over 7,000 miles for Rolland to really flourish. In the aftermath of Videla’s regime and the awakening of the new world wine industry, Rolland was one of the first to realise Argentina’s full potential. It was Rolland who introduced pruning vines and limiting irrigation and as such has instilled techniques that now deliver some of the best Malbecs in the world.
Well, what did you expect?
Michel Rolland’s original Argentinian venture is named after his daughter and called Mariflor (he now own three estates and produces five different wines). He began planting vines in 1999 in the Uco Valley, long before the region became fashionable. Planting 148 acres of the 247-acre, 1,200 metre altitude estate with varietals of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, he included Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, a maverick move which has has paid off. From Mariflor’s its first vintage it garnered stellar results and – spoiler alert – it still does. Robert Parker awarded the maiden 2002 vintage a good 95 points, while three other publications gave it over the 90 bar. Released at under $20 (€18), a bottle of the same vintage will easily reach above €80 today. The superlative 2004 has shown great ROI since Q2/3 2017, approximately 30% ROI, well above the market average.