Clos de Los Siete
The Beginning of a Compelling Story
Michel Rolland first went to Argentina in 1988. He immediately fell in love with the country, the atmosphere there, the people, the beautiful landscape and the culture, as well as its fantastic winegrowing potential. In his frequent return trips, Michel Rolland quickly became convinced that all the conditions were right in Argentina to grow a very great wine.
After searching around for a while, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Mendoza, the last city before reaching the majestic Andes, Michel Rolland and Jean Michel Arcaute (a winegrower from Pomerol in the Bordeaux area) found an ideal plot of land at an altitude of 1,100 meters. There were more than 800 magnificent hectares uniquely exposed with soils made up of pebbles, clay and sand in which sparse semi-desert vegetation grew with sporadic enormous boulders that have lain there since prehistoric times. The story of the Clos was about to begin…
The two originators were joined by friends, also winegrowers, passionate about wine and curious about this country at the other side of the world. They adopted a unique, inventive concept and took up the enormous challenge of contributing together to produce one single wine under Michel Rolland’s supervision.
Four bodegas were built. A part of the production of each is used to make and blend the shared wine “Clos de los Siete”. The rest goes into the wines of their own respective ranges: Monteviejo, Cuvelier los Andes, DiamAndes and Bodega Rolland.
There are two ideas in the name “Clos de los Siete”: a unique challenge and a single block vineyard forming an enclosure called ‘Clos’ en french. This name is also used for the wine, Clos de los Siete.
The wines of the Clos gain their success from the favourable combination of four key elements, which are hard to find all in one place, except here in Argentina. The four elements: generous soil, conducive weather, top flight vines and beneficial orientation.
Vine Cultivation and Winemaking
Malbec, which is the king of all grape varieties in Argentina, is an obvious choice for these soil types. It occupies more than half the total area of the estate and is planted at an unusual density of 5,500 vines per hectare. To add complexity to the blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and a little less Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc are used alongside the Malbec. Each variety contributes its characteristic personality to the final blend.
The vines are drip irrigated and great care is taken when the system is switched on and the flow is thoroughly checked so that the precise quantity of water is delivered to each plant, no more, no less. The double Guyot pruning system is applied and the vines are espalier trained for optimal canopy development. Here the vines are cultivated just like for a Bordeaux grand cru classé with green harvesting, leaf removal, managed 1- to 3-hectare plots and very strictly controlled yields, which is essential when the aim is to produce top-quality wine.
Perfectionism and an unwavering quest for the best are everywhere: the fruit is harvested manually, it comes exclusively from the Clos (also called 'Estate Wine'), it is transported in wooden trays, screened on a sorting table and fed by gravity only to the most recently designed temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is later aged in French oak casks.
All the conditions are set for Clos de los Siete to be entirely unique.