READING BETWEEN THE WINES:
As the number five wine producer in the world, Argentina is rushing to the forefront of the international wine scene. Even though the country has only been exporting since the early 90s (and not really well until the success of the ‘96 vintage), it’s made quite a kerplunk on the market.
While known mostly for its soft and fragrant native white Torrontés and its signature version of the originally French and zealously red Malbec, Argentina is busting out beautiful Old World varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The Argentine wine region covers the warm westernmost area of the expansive South American country. The major regions are the Andean North West (includes La Rioja and Salta), Cuyo (widely known and adored as Mendoza), and the Southern Region.
The top grapes used in Argentina are as follows:
The Malbec, the celebrity of reds in Argentina, is a mild grape with low acidity. Its juice fashions full-bodied, moderately tannic wines with dried fruit and plum overtones.
A red for those with big, bold wine aspirations, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina hits the palate with notes of berries, spices, and even green peppers.
Always a smooth red favorite, Merlot grapes contribute the well-balanced and fruity or oaky wines from Argentina.
The Torrontés, the celebrity white grape of Argentina, struts some fresh, light whites with big bouquets. These wines hum with floral aromas and raisin and tropical fruit flavors.
The oh-so-popular and wide-ranging Chardonnay shows her stuff in Argentina — displaying styles from the light and fruity to complex and well cellared.
The Sauvignon Blanc wines come off herbally, citrusy, often smoky — and always with a little bada-bing zing. Argentine Sauvignon Blancs are fine whites with much potential.
CHOOSING AN ARGENTINE WINE
Various Argentine Producers
|Altos de Madrano||Bodega Catena Zapata|
|Bodega Norton Reserva||Bodega Norton Privada|
|Bodegas Escorihuela||Bodegas Lurton (Malbec-Tempranillo)|
|Caballero de la Cepa||Cheval des Andes|
|Dominio del Plata||Etchart|
|Fabre Montmayou Grand Vin||Finca Flichman|
|Hans Lang||Luigi Bosea|
|Navarro Correas||Navarro Correas Colección Privada|
|Nicolas Fazio||Nieto y Sentiner Cadus|
|Pascual Toso||San Telmo|
|Trapiche (Oak Cask)||Trapiche (Merlot Medalla)|