Argentina is a land that produces great wines. The South American nation is known internationally for its Malbec grapes, but several wineries are currently experimenting with new varieties previously unknown in the country.
Just 20 years ago it was not easy to find Argentinean red wines made with grapes as typically French as Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Tannat, or with the Italian strain Bonarda. However, nowadays a growing number of vintners are working to create a broader variety of wines to gain access to new, profitable markets.
The South American powerhouse has imported white grapes as exotic as the Friulian Tocai—native of the of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region inItaly–and the Central European Gewurztraminer. Meanwhile, the production of the Spanish Torrontés grape is increasing, although its cultivation began many decades ago for domestic consumption.
These are some great Argentine wines created with some of these new and exceptional grapes:
LABORUM TORRONTÉS 2012
Winery: Bodega El Porvenir de Cafayate
Region: Cafayate, Salta
Grapes: Torrontés 100%
This outstanding white wine of bright greenish hue is produced in the company’s vineyards, located at 5,500 feet above sea level. The aroma is fruity and fragrant with floral notes of roses and touches of citrus. In the palate, this wine stands out for its freshness and joviality. It is a balanced vintage with a nice acidity and a good structure.
RUTINI GEWURZTRAMINER 2015
Winery: Rutini Wines
Region: Tupungato, Mendoza
Four months aging in French oak barrels are enough to create a unique wine, vivacious and with an intense greenish-yellow hue. Closer the nose it evokes the aroma of flowers and white fruits with a touch of vanilla. The palate is fruity, long, and friendly with a good balance between sugar and acidity.
NUMINA CABERNET FRANC 2013
Winery: Bodegas Salentein Numina
Region: Valle de Uco, Mendoza
Grapes: gewürztraminer 100%
Handpicked grapes are used to create this dark red wine with brick tones, whose aromas stand out for gentle hints of cassis, blueberry and spicy notes of clove, pepper, and vanilla. In the mouth, it is kind, with sweet and round tannins. Unctuous and persistent, this is an elegant and balanced wine with an excellent structure.
FINCA LA ANITA TOCAI 2009
Winery: Finca la Anita
Region: Alto Agrelo, Mendoza
Grapes: tocai friulano 100%
This white wine retains all the freshness and fruitiness that characterizes this grape variety when it has no contact with wood. It has a very pale yellow color, clear aromas of white fruits, apple, pear, pineapple, and peaches with citrus notes. On the palate, we perceive its pleasant fruit flavors, and the finish is fresh, tasty and lingering.
ZUCCARDI SERIE A BONARDA 2014
Region: Santa Rosa, Mendoza
Grapes: bonarda 100%
Ten months in French oak barrels give this vibrant red wine its characteristic deep purplish red color. It has an intense and seductive aroma of plums, cherries, blackberries and blueberries with hints of spice. In the mouth, it stands out for its intensity and fruit flavors, as well as its soft velvety tannins perfectly amalgamated with the fruit. The finish is elegant, smooth and persistent.
These examples of superb quality and innovation confirm the continued growth of Argentina as one of the best wine producers in the world. ■