Almost 20 years ago, Sonia and David went back-packing in the wine country of Northern California and fell in love with the idea of owning a vineyard.
SonVida is Sonia's life and David's dream. After an international career in television news for the BBC, ITN and CNN, Sonia began her adventure in wine. She is a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is studying for an international Wine MBA at the Bordeaux Ecole de Management, a grand ecole in France.
After a career as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and ITN, David is now a diplomat with the United Nations. David is also a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) of London.
SonVida is in the heart of Malbec country, the Valle de Uco, in a small area known as Altamira, close to the village of La Consulta. Their neighbors are Chandon, Catena, and Achaval Ferrer. Close by, sharing the valley, are O.Fournier, Clos de los Siete, Finca La Celia, and Lurton.
Their terroir is defined by the Andes. They are at 1,029 meters above sea level. Snow melts high in the mountains, and waters the vines. The earth is strewn with rounded pebbles, carried down the Andes over millennia, by streams and glaciers. The sun shines brightly 330 days a year. The cooling nighttime breezes help the grapes keep their freshness and mature with full flavors.
SonVida Alegria Red Blend is made from 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah.
We named our vineyard in the Andes of Argentina after our daughter Alegría. When we first saw the land, she was a baby in our arms. Now, as she goes to college, this wine celebrates her journey.
From a single vineyards, 1,029 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level near Paraje Altamira, Mendoza.
Age of the vines is 13 years (planted in 2002).
Aged 15 months in French and American Oak Barrel
Red meat, pork, grilled chicken.
SonVida Malbec 2014 is made from 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
The most challenging of years yielded a great harvest, and a magnificent wine. Frost in September, just as our Malbec was in budbreak. Then a fierce Zonda wind in early November, just as the vineyard was flowering. The result? Yields low, BUT quality high.
SonVida Malbec 2013 celebrates intense fruit, plum, blackberry, even dark chocolate notes, with the optimal acidity and smooth tannins that are so typical of the award-winning Altamira district in the Uco Valley of Mendoza. Above all, this latest Malbec from the Alegira vineyard boasts rare balance - a hint of the Old World in the best of the New World.
Decanter World Wine Awards 2017, 90 pts
SonVida Malbec is made from 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
SonVida Malbec is a single vineyard wine, the supreme expression of the award-winning zone of Altamira, in Argentina's Uco Valley. Altamira's smooth tannins shine through, and the combination of acidity and minerality lead the wine to a long, integrated finish.
"The wine is proud to be ripe and generous. Aromas dominated by smokey mulberry and blueberry. It's plush and coats the palate with bramble, blueberry and liquorice and the scent of vanilla. Immediately muscular and broad-shouldered in the glass, with a savory note, perhaps tapenade, running through the dense palate with mint and dried herbs on the finish. The oak will integrate over time, mixing its spice with the warm spice of fruit. - Joe Fattorini - The Wine Show"
Sunny Summer with moderate nighttime temperatures, followed by an early Fall.
Grapes come from the Mendoza region, in the Paraje Altamira area.
YIELD: 35 Hl/HA
MACERATION: Total 25 days, first cold-soaked 5 days, 14 days fermentation at 24° C, plus 7 additional days. No filtration.
SonVida Malbec can be enjoyed on its own, and matches perfectly with meats, chicken, turkey and hard cheeses. It is enjoyed best in good company. ‘Would you like another glass?’ The answer, almost always, is ‘yes’.
"Former diplomat and journalist David Smith doesn’t make much wine, alas, but the quality is extremely good indeed. Subtle, refreshing and marked by the chalky terroir of Paraje Altamira, it’s a nuanced, skilfully oaked Malbec with precision, focus and impressive palate length. 2020-25"
- Tim Atkin, Argentina Special Report 2018), 93 pts
"A gorgeously rustic, complex wine packed with blossom, dark fruits and Christmas spices. Rich and satisfyingly rounded with soft tannins."- Decanter World Wine Awards 2018, 93 pts - SILVER MEDAL
"The 2015 Malbec has an old-world style in its balance, elegance and smoothness but with the chalky texture of the Altamira soils. It's very harmonious and young, as classic as it gets, medium-bodied and very drinkable. It has developed some extra complexity in the bottle and comes through as complex and layered. Terrific right now. 4,800 bottles were filled in 2017. - Luis Gutiérrez" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 92 pts
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Tamarack Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
Dark aromas of cherry, mocha and blueberry lead to ripe plum, blackberry pie and flavors of a savory red wine reduction steak sauce, layered with intense chocolate and rich, velvety tannins.
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked 48 hours minimum, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that comprise the Merlot are kept separate for at least 12 months before they are blended. 50% new oak, the majority being American with some French and Hungarian oak from select coopers & a variety of forests with the wine aging in the oak for 19 months.