Summer Stash: A load from Argentina…

I long to go back to Mendoza and often practice the reverse mantra that if you can’t be there bring it to you. Malbec, asada and flipping through pictures from our visit a few years back usually tends to scratch the itch. That said sooner or later I am going to have to book my return trip but until then I’ll just keep drinking more than my fair share of Argentinean wines. Again here I had a chance to drink quite a few (all samples) over the last six months. What was my overall take? Malbec, to me, is still one of the most consistent places to find value offerings and furthermore some of the $20 wines more than delivered on their price points. So what have I been drinking you ask?a few from Terrazas de los Andes...

Terrazas Los Andes and I go way back. Their Malbec (I last reviewed the ’06) is one of the wines I most often recommend to people. This was my first experiences with the Malbec Reserva (which I drank from a 375ml bottle) and it certainly showed more restraint and a few extra layers of complexity. As for the Torrontes Reserva the aromatics on the nose weren’t quite as exciting as I usually find them. Why the wine itself was fine I wouldn’t stretch your budget for this one with so many $10 (See Finca La Linda below) options readily available.

a few from Luigi Bosca...

I have actually previous reviewed the Finca La Linda and as mentioned while I found it nice next time I would prefer to give some others; like this Zolo, a try. The Pinot I found very new world in style. This wine is big and powerful with oak influencing throughout. Well made but not a match for my palate as at this price point I want something more restrained and elegant. The Merlot was an easy and enjoyable drinker but north of the price point I’m willing to pay for that type of offering. But oh the Malbec! This one has a nose of dark berries, dusty chocolate and black pepper. A brooding wine that could knock you over with fruit if it pleased that instead chooses to some nice values...show restraint and layers of flavor. A sure winner and the best of the Argentinean wines I sampled this summer.

This Santa Ana really surprised me as despite my travels through Australia I had come across very few Shiraz blends I had enjoyed. This one was spicy and juicy on the palate with a nice structure. Firm acidity kept it balanced and made it food friendly. The Bodega Norton was a Bordeaux-ish blend that showed sweet fruit and nice meaty characteristics. I’d love to try it with a few more years in the bottle as this has the potential to be something else. As for the Alamos this is another long time favorite (last reviewed the ’06). and a few nice Malbecs...My notes on the ’09 say: “Young, light & juicy w/ loads of stawberries on balanced acidity with a dry spicy finish. Crowdpleaser! Buy this one more often.”

The Nieto Senetiner was new to me. It showed bold red fruit and soft, velvety tannins with pepper spice on the finish. Well balanced with layers of flavors. Yet another very good value. The Dona Paula is a big wine with rich fruit that dries quickly showing a leathery, pepper finish that is laden with barrel notes and tannins. For this price I’m tempted to buy a few and sit them as again this one seems to have the opportunity to evolve into something special.

There you have it. Did you have a favorite Argentinean wine this summer? Have you had any of these? Either way would love to hear your thoughts via the comments below.

*as indicated above these wines were indeed received as a press sample. That said I have purchased many bottles of the Terrazas de los Andes and Alamos with my very own wallet.