Tag Archive | "argentina wine"

A pair of Argentina Reds from Septima Winery

There’s no question that Argentina – as a wine producing region – is on fire and that has mainly been because of its successful malbec wines. Due to a variety of reasons such as cheaper labor, land and grape prices, you can often find wine from Argentina are far superior quality-per-dollar than other leading regions.

2009 Malbec:

W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Composition: 100% Malbec
  • Vineyards: Valle de Uco, 1100 m.a.s.l., Agrelo 1050 m.a.s.l.
  • Oak aging: 6 months in American oak barrels.
  • Analytical Data
  • Alcohol % v / v: 14.
  • Residual sugars: 4.90 g/l.
  • Total acidity tartaric: 5.15 g/l.
  • Volatile acidity in acetic: 0.48 g/l.
  • Color: Intense red with purplish highlights.
  • Price: $12

Nose: Plums, cedar smoke, tanned leather, cocoa, cinnamon and clove with a hint of blackberry.

Taste: I get a good mix of blackberry and plum-pie filling right off the bat – this is very fruit-foward, new-world style malbec. Decent tannins and overall mouthfeel, however, the finish is a bit too short for me – overall not a bad wine for the money.

2008 Cab:

W.E.P. Rating: 80%

Technical Data:

  • Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyards: Valle de Uco, 1100 m.a.s.l.
  • Oak aging: 6 months in American oak barrels.
  • Alcohol % v / v: 14.2.
  • Residual sugars: 4.03 g/l.
  • Total acidity tartaric: 5.17 g/l.
  • Volatile acidity in acetic: 0.60 g/l.
  • Color: Deep ruby red with mahogany shades.
  • Price: $12

Nose: Spiced cherries, top soil, leather, sea foam, chocolate, roses and tar.

Taste: The top-soil effece and tar come on really strong at first and then lead way into a spiced-cherry frenzy. Decent mid-palate, however, the tannins are sort of weak for me and it always doesn’t finsih near as strong as I’d hope for. Not a bad effort at all, however, there are far more interesting cabs out there.

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2005 Andeluna Reserve – 3-way Round-up Review

Taking its name from it surroundings of the Andes Mountain range and the moon – this winery out of Argentina has given my palate a fever and the only perspcription is more of its reserve wines for an MSRP of $20. I’ve often held the Mendoz region of Argentina as a fine area for Malbec, however, this round-up of two other bordeaux grapes prove to me that it’s as serious as a heart attack about Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well.

2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – W.E.P. Rating: 125%

Technical Information
Alcohol: 14.1 %
Residual Sugar: 1.80 g/l
Varietal Composition: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon
9% Malbec
Harvest Date: 4/20/05
Total Acidity: 5.60 g/l
PH: 3.66
Cases Produced: 2,039
Nose: Gaminess, black fruit, asphalt, road tar, blackberry pie and chewing tobacco.
Taste: Who turned on the blackberry slurpee fountain and then spilled it all over a freshly-paved road that had road-kill on it? Cascading black fruit topples your palate with lots of pleasure and then gets nicely reigned in by vanilla, pomagranate, pencil lead and ink. Excellent, long finish that lingers on for days – an excellent Cab that easily out-classes many cabs out of Napa at double the price.

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 14.1 %
  • Residual Sugar: 1.80 g/l
  • Varietal Composition: 91%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec
  • Harvest Date: 4/20/05
  • Total Acidity: 5.60 g/l
  • PH: 3.66
  • Cases Produced: 2,039
  • Price: $20

Nose: Gaminess, black fruit, asphalt, road tar, blackberry pie and chewing tobacco.

Taste: Who turned on the blackberry slurpee fountain and then spilled it all over a freshly-paved road that had road-kill on it? Cascading black fruit topples your palate with lots of pleasure and then gets nicely reigned in by vanilla, pomagranate, pencil lead and ink. Excellent, long finish that lingers on for days – an excellent Cab that easily out-classes many cabs out of Napa at double the price.

2005 Reserve Merlot – W.E.P. Rating: 120%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 14.3%
  • Residual Sugar: 1.80 g/l
  • Varietal Composition: 100% Merlot
  • Harvest Date: 4/2/05
  • Total Acidity: 5.30 g/l
  • PH: 3.62
  • Cases Produced: 1,563
  • Price: $20

Nose: Chalk, black cherries, blackberries, plums and spice – some good amounts of pie crust

Taste: Pepper-spiced black fruits with a healthy dose of show leather, spicey pinecone, black licorice, and subtle hints of toasted vanilla on the back-end make this a very enjoyable merlot. An excellent finish that begs for a lamb shank.

2005 Reserve Malbec – W.E.P. Rating: 150%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 13.7 %
  • Residual Sugar: 1.80 g/l
  • Varietal Composition: 95% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Harvest Date: 4/13/06
  • Total Acidity: 5.20 g/l
  • PH: 3.75
  • Cases Produced: 3,842
  • Price: $20

Nose: Once again with the gaminess I found in the cab – this wine has a very nice boquet of black plums, white/black pepper, charred peppers and nice hints of fresh coffee grounds.

Taste: Fire-roasted bell peppers, coffee grounds, black plums, bubble gum, dirt, mud, poo and cascading spice that seems to come in selective waves. A great finish that helps reaffirm why this region of the world is on fire for Malbec. Easily one of the best Malbec’s I’ve ever had.

Winery website: www.andeluna.com

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2006 Andeluna Chardonnay

Winery Website: www.andeluna.com

Argentina continues to make waves in the wine world by releasing kick-ass Malbec wines that marry price and quality – the likes of which has some wineries struggling to keep up with.

You may be surprised to find out, however, that its white wine production is serious business as well and if my take on this Chardonnay is a sign of things to come fromt that region, then I’m very excited. 

Andeluna Cellars is located in the pristine grape-growing area of Mendoza and has been producing quality wines for quite awhile now. It has access to excellent fruit sources and – from my first-run experiences with it – seem to do a superb job of making wine.

Click to Enlarge

Technical Information

  • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
  • Harvest Date: 3/18/06
  • Alcohol: 13.8 %
  • Residual Sugar: 3.20 g/l
  • Total Acidity: 5.80 g/l
  • PH: 3.55
  • Cases Produced: 3,400
  • Price $12

Nose: Nice straw hay component mingled with hints of pears, apples  and some sandstone. Some nice floral action rounds things out.

Taste: Intense layers of lemonpeel, vanilla, straw and river-rock – even a strange layer of eucoliptus as well. Finishes very well – excellent acidity and fruit with a finish that lingers on and on. This is a Chardonnay that’s serious business and one I’d highly recommend the California butter-drinkers to get a hold of – a Chard like this could be your saving grace of helping you see the light.

W.E.P. Rating: 115%

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2007 Andeluna “Winemakers Selection” Torrontes

Winery Website: Andeluna Cellars
MSRP: $12.00 

It’s very exciting for me to watch other, newer, wine regions cropping up with such promise and one of the more recent ones has been that of the country of Argentina. Already known for its great Malbecs, this region is also producing some other interesting grape varieties such as Torrontes – a noble white grape that doesn’t get a whole lot of play here in North America.

Torrontes is distinctly an Argentinan grape which has some very interesting and food-friendly characteristics going for it which I hope will help it gain more popularity here in the states and throughout the rest of the world.

The Torrontes grape is usually round and medium-sized with a yellowish-green color which can appear to closer to that of a golden-delicious apple. It primarily grows in the following regions of Argentina:

Catamarc
La Rioja
Mendoza
Salta
San Juan
Rio Negro

Any of the fruit sourced from these particular provinces of Argentina are considered to be the best of its kind, anywhere in the world. 

Andeluna Cellars is considered by many to be one of Argentina’s top wine producers and has quite a long pedigree of churning out award-winning, palete-pleasing wines since 2003 – it’s grapes founders have been growing grapes in that region of the world for 120 years.

Technical Information
Varietal Composition: 100% Torrontés
Harvest Date: 4/10/07
Alcohol: 13.6%
Residual Sugar: 1.80 g/l
Total Acidity: 6.30 g/l
PH: 3.38
Cases Produced: 2,000

Nose: Jasmine-laced pineapple rings combined with some crisp, green apples, apricots and great components of chalk-dust, vanilla and white peaches.

Taste: Excellent balance of fruit and acidity here – the green apples are ripping my face of and the excellent acids make it a very food-friendly wine which pairs great with tomoto-based pasta dishes or even some clam linguini. Great mouth-feel that rides the palate very well with a finish that lingers quite well. The complexity of flavors of peach, jasmine, grapefruit and vanilla are VERY well balanced.

Overall Summary: This wine has excellent balance – there’s the killer acidity I love and adore while all the fresh fruit I want to make it extremely palatable. In the end, I’d easily tap this wine as a daily drinker or one that would pair well with a variety of chicken and seafood dishes.

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 150%

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What are you waiting for? Try an Argentina Malbec already!

This note goes out particularly to those California Wine-Snobs – you know who you are – the folks who are somehow convinced you can’t get a truly good wine for under $40 dollars. Hey, it’s not my fault that Napa wines are generally a rip-off and it’s not my fault that Argentina can make killer wines for dirt-cheap.

I’ve been drinking quite a number of Malbec’s (Argentina’s darling grape varietal) lately – all are well under $12 bones – and they’ve got me excited and worried at the same time.

Why am I worried? I worry anytime a foreign country can potentially cost American jobs because they can compete at a lower price point.

Why am I excited? Because the consumer in me and my palette tells me that there are some incredible values coming out of that region which really do deserve your interest. They can produce a bottle of wine for around $1-2 USD and have it sold at retail up here for $9. American producers –namely those in the more expensive areas of California – could have an incredibly difficult time competing at these prices because the wines are so good.

Looking at the way wine market trends go, if you don’t stock up on these wines now, they will eventually go up in price. As Argentina continues to rise in popularity, you’ll see the prices start rising as well. What you’re paying $10 buck for now, will sell for closer to $20 in a few more years.

I’m super excited about Argentina Wines, and highly encourage you to seek some out. Please don’t take my word here, trust your palette and as always try many wines as you can!

2006 Bodega Septima Malbec:
This wine has an incredible nose of black licorice, fig newtons, blackberries and a slight hint of white pepper. The finish on this wine is quite long and brings a lot of pleasure with it. Wine Speculator gave this an 86pt rating, I feel that’s a bit low – I’d be more inclined to go 89+; if I were into the ratings game – Decant for 30-60min.

Pairs incredibly well with Pot Roast served with Bread-crumb-crusted pasta and brown Gravy made from pan drippings. I’d also have no problems pairing it with any hearty fish like a cedar-plank salmon with a Tarragon Aioli. The licorice notes of the wine would clearly go with the licorice-flavors of the tarragon.

2005 Trivento Select Malbec
The nose here has some good hints of vanilla (thanks to the French oak), some black cherry and dark plums. Like the Bodega, the finish is great and there’s good fruit across the front and mid-palette. There is a nice spicy component going on here and I’d definitely have no issues at all pairing it with many South-of-the-border inspired foods.

The buttery consistency of Guacamole’, for example would go very well with this wine – we had it the other night with some “taco stew” (think taco flavors in a slow-cooked, stew format) and topped it with Sour Cream, Guacamole’ and a touch of hot sauce.

Pairs incredibly well with Pot Roast served with Bread-crumb-crusted pasta and brown Gravy made from pan drippings. I’d also have no problems pairing it with any hearty fish like a cedar-plank salmon with a Tarragon Aioli. The licorice notes of the wine would clearly go with the licorice-flavors of the tarragon.

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