Argentina is the 5th largest wine producing country in the world and produces some amazing wines. They are less prevalent in the UK market compared to other South American countries (notably Chile), but they clearly play to their strengths of presenting excellent value for the quality of wine that is produced. Learn more about some of Argentina's amazing wine regions Salta and Mendoza.
We would like to introduce you to some of our favourite Top 10 wines from Argentina:
Argentina’s flagship white wine grape and unique to the country is Torrontes. The grape is best grown in the ultra high altitude growing area of Salta province in the North West of the country at around 1,750 meters. Our favourite producer is Bodega El Porvenir de los Andes and their Laborum range. Floral on the nose, but dry on the palette, this is a very versatile wine with a great degree of acidity.
Hailing from the Valle de Uco in Southern Mendoza Province, this is a unique version of the red wine grape Argentina is famous for. Only 25,000 bottles of this wine are produced in Tupungato at 1,200 meters. Unusually the wine has not been aged in oak and in order to preserve the true nature of the Malbec, the winemaker has decided not to filter the wine either. The result is a true reflection of the grape grown in its mountainous terroir.
Trapezio winery is located in Alto Agrelo - just south of the Rio de Mendoza - on a tiny plot of only 10 hectares. The grapes are picked manually at the break of dawn and then aged for 6 months in second use French oak. This results in an extraordinary delicate balance between the natural fruit character of the wine with some additional structure provided by the oak ageing. There is nothing not to like about this Malbec!
Vina Alicia is probably one of the most prestigious small producers in Argentina. Their wines are more costly, but this is a result of their meticulous wine making practices. Malbec grapes from 150-year old wines are hand-picked and also de-stemmed by hand prior to going through the malolactic formation in new French oak barrels. This provides the wine with a huge amount of complexity and roundedness. A highly-rated masterpiece from a great winemaker!
Carinae’s Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is a great example of why Argentina is so much more than amazing Malbecs. Only 5,000 bottles have been produced by this French family that decided to make Mendoza their home about 15 years ago. Aged from 12 months in first use French oak, this wine has now aged gracefully and is an outstanding example of a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipu area of Mendoza Province.
Antucura is located in Vista Flores in the South of the Valle de Uco and is owned by a French lady who relocated to Argentina over 20 years ago. Against the stunning back drop of the snow covered Andes, Antucura produces a wide range of grape varieties. The Antucura Blend Selection 2008 consists of a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec - with the right bank of Bordeaux acting as inspiration. Aged for 12 months in first use French oak, this is probably what an outstanding right bank Bordeaux would taste like - albeit at the fraction of the price.
This is probably one of the best examples of a Malbec/ Cabernet Sauvignon blend, which is found relatively frequently in Mendoza . Only 10,000 bottles of this wine are produced annually by the great team at Bodega La Azul. It is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec, which has been aged for 15 months in a mix of French and American oak barrels. The Malbec gives this wine its big, fruity nose and softens the peppery notes from the Cabernet. The Cabernet provides much of the depth and the long finish. Together they create an outstanding blend.
Tempus Alba is a winery located in the heart of Mendoza and probably has one of the most stunning terraces for a wine tasting or lunch - a definite must visit! Run in the 5th generation by the same family, their motto is “we are what we do” - and they mean it! Each year the three best barrels of their top of the line Pleno wine are chosen for the winemaker’s reserve. This results in 900 bottles, of which the family keeps 100 bottles and only 800 bottles are sold - all complete with the wine makers signature on the capsule. The 2003 Pleno Winemaker’s reserve consists of 95% Malbec with 5% Tempranillo. Aged for 24 months in first use oak, this is an outstanding example of how well Argentine Boutique wine ages.
This wine is Bodega El Porvenir de los Andes’ top of the line blend. 45% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Tannat and 8% Syrah. Handpicked from vineyards with an average age of 25 years, located at an altitude of 1,750 metres. The wine was matured for 18 months in French and American first-use oak barrels.This care and attention has brought out the very best in each individual varietal, creating a truly superb blend packing a punch.
100% Torrontes that has been grown in Cafayate, 1,750 metres above sea level. The vines are trained in the Pergola system and each bunch is individually protected by bags. The grapes are harvested in May and the wine is aged for 4 months in French oak barrels. The wine goes wonderfully with Foie Gras, or an indulgent dessert. You can taste the intense rays of sun that have been captured in the wine, but at the same time a good degree of acidity keeps the palette fresh. A golden gem!
After that top 10, fancy a trip to see the vineyards in Argentina?