The Wines of Argentina recently held their Country’s wine awards. Here in BC we were lucky to taste 21 of the awarded wines during the BC Hospitality DishNDazzle wine and food event held a few weeks ago. From these 21 wines, I picked 4 wines to present to you; a Torrontes, a Malbec, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a red blend. All four, different wines, but shows that while you may think of Argentina as a land awash in Malbec, it has much more to offer. I also attended a seminar on Purity, Focus and Finesse in Argentinean Wine, which covered regions as well as different grape varieties. An interesting read as well, and has my wine picks from the seminar too. Let’s concentrate on the four wines for this article.
Piattelli Reserve Torrontes 2014 – Pine needles and lychee aromas in the glass. Dry, medium body, medium plus acidity, with lychee and peach flavours, with a hint of herbaceousness. An elegant wine. Torrontes is an aromatic white grape, which you may want to consider trying if you also like other aromatic white grapes, like Viognier, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. The Torrontes grape is truly a grape of Argentina, being bred there by accident through the crossing of Muscat d’Alexandrie and Criolla.
Vina Cobos Bramare Lujan de Cuyo Malbec 2012 ($39.19) – Light intensity dark fruit, cassis and meat on the nose. Dry and mineral, with a round mouthfeel; purple fruit flavours and spicy. Argentina’s other grape of fame
Bodega Vistalba Corte C 2013 ($19.79) – Did you know that “Corte” is the Spanish word for “Blend”? This wine is their “C Blend”. They also have an “A” and a “B Blend”. This wine is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Bonarda. A hint of barnyard on the nose. This wine is fuller bodied with medium acidity and dark tannins. Loads of dark fruit complemented with chocolate and spice. I have tasted wines from Bodega Vistalba before at the Vancouver International Wine Festival and they have always been top quality. I put this wine on my list for you to try as I wanted you to think about blends, and not always single varietal wines. Red Bordeaux is a blend of grapes, and it is highly prized, so give Argentina blends a chance too.
Mascota Vineyards Opi Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – Lots of ripe dark fruit and cassis aromas. Full body, medium firm tannins, with more ripe, sweet dark fruit and cassis on the palate. Complemented with spice, minerality and vanilla. I offer this Cabernet up to you, so you try another red grape other than Malbec from Argentina. Argentina also produces nice Bonarda, and is experimenting with Cabernet Franc.
Sorry I do not have the prices for all the wines, as they were not present in the tasting booklet handed out during the event. The ones with prices are currently available in the BCLDB stores. The other two wines may be available in private liquor stores in BC.