Argentina is the 5th largest wine producing country in the world and it makes some outstanding wines. Our team went out there recently to taste the wines in situ and were blown away by the how far Argentine wine has come in the last ten years. Here is our pick of the best of the best...
Our Best White Argentine Wines
Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs NV
This 100% Chardonnay wine from Tupungato, Uco Valley has had substantial leese aging. makigng it feel quite a lot like Champagen but with that characteristic Uco Valley brightness of fruit. See more here.
Colomé Salta Torrontés
Bodega Colomé boast the highest vineyard in the world at one of its vineyard sites in Salta, Argentina. The light and the altitude give wines here a particular style as its so cool and yet, the grape skins tend to be thicker as they act as sunscreen to the fruit. While from form their very highest vineyards, I loved their classic Salta Torrontés from Calchaquí Valley for its lemon drizzle cake aromatics, its crisp, dry palate and surprisingly creamy weight. A beautifully made white wine that sets the benchmark for Argentinian Torrontés. £12-13 Find it here.
Adrianna Vineyards White Stones Chardonnay & White Bones Chardonnay
Sneakily counting these two wines as one here. They are extraordinary! Both Chardonnays are subtley different: the 'white stones' is complex, bright and mineral with a distinct note of thyme and the 'white bones' has a touch more brioche, yet both both offer incredibly ripe, peach and stone fruit flavours without being remotely overblown or sickly. Pure, elegant and completely unique thanks to the luminosity and the high altitude (around 5,000 feet ASL!). They are not cheap, but they are a must-taste for any Chardonnay lover. £60-70 Find the wines here and here. We have the Catena institute to thank for this. Watch this short video from the winemaker to find out more about what Catena are doing. You can also visit Catena with Winerist on this food and wine tour.
Silky, Gorgeous Reds
Catena Zapata Malbec 2015
This Malbec is probably THE benchmark for great, affordable Malbec from Argentina. It's my go to red wine for parties too where I have to buy several bottles. It has a great balance of fruit and structure with the classic malbec notes of raspberry, blueberry and choclate. £9.99 - £13.99 depending on offers. Find it here.
The Owl & The Dust Devil, Finca Decero 2015
This wine I love because of its moreish, velvety drinkability. A perfectly judged Bordeaux-esque blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Tannat from a single vineyard, gives it the best of all the grapes: lifted, violet and blueberry notes on the nose are complemented by richer, dark red fruits on the palate, all backed up by Cabernet's beefy structure. There's a lot going on, but it has not been overworked and over extracted. Drinking beautifully now. £21-£22. Find it here.
Carmelita Uco Valley Cabernet Franc 2013
One grape to look out for from Argentina right now is Cabernet Franc. I've never been a huge fan of reds from the Loire Valley in France (Cabernet Franc's spiritual home), but here in Argentina, like Malbec before it, Cab Franc does something different. Here, it's all bright red, fruit and vine tomato with a soft juiciness you just don't get in the Loire. Add a bit of oak in there and you get some serious, savoury wines. Carmelita is doing it brilliantly (their Malbecs are awesome too). £23-25 See more here.
Emma Zuccardi Bonarda
Bonarda is a grape that is doing great things in Argetnina rigth now. Named in homage to winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi's grandmother, he wanted to embody her in this wine: wtih stunning colours of blue, purple and black, this wine oozes charm from the look, to the nose, to the palate. Think vibrant, ripe blackberry and blueberry with a sliky weight, complexity and effortless freshness. If you like top end, juicy beaujolais with a brain, you'll love this. £25-27.99 Find it here.
Top Level Reds
Cobos Bramare Touza Vineyard Malbec 2014
This single vienyard Malbec by renowned Bodega Vina Cobos is a real powerhouse! Bold, dark and concentrated, it has an incredible herbaceous note, bright bramble fruit and a dark chocolate finish. It's beautiful now, but will go on and on. £69.99 Find it here.
Aluvional La Consulta, Valle de Uco Malbec, Zuccardi 2013
Winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi is leading the way for terroir-driven wines in Argentina that really showcase the exact spot the grapes were grown. This is a classy, elegant and concentrated red with a seamless, cool mineral silkiness with subtle floral notes and a touch of mocha. Great now, but will keep for several years. £70.00 Find it here.
Colomé Altura Maxima Malbec 2014
When I talked about the highest vineyards in the world and their effect on the grape and the wine, this is what I was talking about. The thicker grapes skins from Altura Maxima vineyard here in Salta give the wine a darker colour and more concentration. This is a lean, mineral malbec, more black chocolate, salt and mint that the ripe blueberry pie fruit you get in Mendoza. Stunning wine. One to keep for a while or at least, have it with a juicy steak. £85-87. Find it here.
So there you have it. This lst is not exhaustive, but we're off there again soon, so there are more recommendations to come! In the meantime, check out our free Mendoza wine travel guide here. Cheers!