There is a wine bar in the heart of central Mendoza called the Vines of Mendoza (creative!). Their claim to fame is that they collect the best wines of the region for sampling and purchase. This is mostly geared toward those tourists who don't have time to visit many wineries themselves, and I was skeptical of their quality before visiting.
My initial doubt was misplaced, because VoM really does have an impressively good wine offering. We started by sampling four glasses, which quickly evolved into a full-on tasting and the decision to buy 12 bottles.
Side Story: In Cafayate, we purchased seven bottles of wine with the intent that we would ship six home, along with six we were to acquire in Mendoza. We couldn't have been more naïve. Shipping wine from outside the U.S. is nearly impossible. We investigated all our options upon arriving in Mendoza. The UPS clerk laughed us out of his office. Not even possible. The DHL guy was very helpful, but it would cost $500 per dozen or $350 for six because they have a special (costly) relationship with a licensed alcohol distributor.
We were out of options and fearing the worst. Once we reached VoM, we had an idea. They would ship our six wines home for $220, and if we bought 12 bottles from them, shipping only costs $1. The deal seems to-good-to-be-true, but it's legitimate.
So began our wine tasting odyssey. We quickly struck up a friendship with Justin and Kate, two Americans from D.C. sitting next to us. Julia from VoM gave us the royal treatment, even opening up new bottles just so we could give them a try. It was such a fun, social experience. Hats off to Vines of Mendoza for not just living up to, but exceeding their reputation. We made some tough decisions, and settled upon these wines (including a few multiple purchases):
Bressia Monteagrelo Syrah 2008
Bressia Monteagrelo Cab Franc 2009
Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin Blend 2007
Cuvelier Los Andes Colección Blend 2008
Enamore Blend 2009
Lindaflor La Violeta Malbec 2007
Lindaflor Malbec 2008
Gran Lorca Poético Petit Verdot 2008
Gauchezco Plata Malbec 2009
Bonomo y Montiel Malbec 2012
Gran Malbec de Angeles 2009
By far, our favorite wines were the Gran Malbec de Angeles, the Culvelier Los Andes Grand Vin, and the Lindaflor La Violeta. They were simply incredible wines. When they're in stock, you can find these on VoM's website, because they also serve as the importer for these labels.