Today is the third day of Around the Wine World in Eight Days, so today is Argentina day. I’m a huge fan of Argentinean wines. They’re done to perfection. What I’ve got listed here are all highly recommended wines, just let me state that and then take you into South America!
- Turkey – Tuesday
- Chile – Wednesday
- Argentina – Thursday
- France – Friday
- And we’re taking off the weekend, sightseeing in France
- Spain – Monday
- Germany – Tuesday
- Australia – Wednesday
- New Zealand – Thursday
Top 10 Things about Argentina That Intrigue Me
- Argentina is the world’s fifth largest producer of wine.
- Eighty percent of Argentina’s wine comes from Mendoza, South America’s largest wine producing region. (Yesterday, I wrote about the Grove Street Malbec. This is where the wine got its origin.)
- Spanish missionaries planted the first Vitis vinifera wine grapes in Argentina around 1550.
- Grapevines were shipped across the Atlantic by Michel A. Pouget, a French agronomist.
- Argentina boasts having the finest Malbec vines in the world, because they’ve not ever had phyloxxera, nor have they been grafted like elsewhere in the world, including France – Think Bordeaux.
- More Malbec is grown in Argentina than anywhere else in the world.
- The small town of Maipú, near Mendoza, is so packed with wineries that it’s easy to hit five or six in a day.
- I never want to visit more than three in a day, because I will learn more about those three and have more intimate memories.
- Argentina’s Torrontés is a naturally occurring cross between Criolla negra and Muscat of Alexandria.
- Cabernet Franc is flourishing in Argentina as a cultivar.
- The Grape Harvest Festival in Argentina is world class, according to the Travel Channel.
- So it must be great… being right up there with Boston’s Wine Festival.
- I would have picked the Santa Fe Chile and Wine Festival, personally, having been numerous times to all US wine festivals within the Continental US, but that’s another story.
Around the Wine World in Eight Days – Argentina
Decopas is a wine from Argentina dedicated to the Millennial audience, and I believe that this wine is perfectly suited to that age group; however, I love it, too. At the end of each day in Argentina, thousands of colleagues, family and friends turn to each other and ask: “¿Decopas?” Buenos Aires slang for “By the glass?” this joyous invitation signals the start of Happy Hour! As bars start to fill and the wine starts to flow, patrons relax in a welcome atmosphere in which food, music and dance combine and culminate in lively conversation. If I had a restaurant, I’d be looking at Decopas as a wine-by-the-glass as a great deal. At $12 retail, any restaurateur knows that with the first pour, the wine has paid for itself. (Yes, consumers, that’s how wine programs work.)
2014 Decopas Sauvignon Blanc, Mendoza Argentina
While Sauvignon Blanc is an older variety associated with Bordeaux, development of it in Argentina has been slow. (It can be vegetative, and so this problem has had to be overcome). Cultivation has expanded over the last few years in Mendoza, and they’re having great success with it. This wine proves it. Visually, this wine was light and lovely. The lemon tempted me, and it tasted as delicious as the aromas. It’s a very well balanced wine, and it extremely affordable, not only for millenials, but anyone having a large party and wanting a perfect Sauvignon Blanc as a crowd pleaser. A pool party in the making, this one.
2014 Decopas Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
Malbec is one of the Bordeaux varieties, and this one has had tremendous success in Argentina, to the point of me thinking… Argentine red wine? Malbec. At 100 percent Malbec, think about this wine with grilled meat dishes for this Fourth of July. If you love firm cheeses, this is then going to be your red appetizer wine.
Just as the last time I tasted this wine, the garnet with purple edges and medium dark color, just drew me in. It has a perfectly beautiful nose, and the 13 percent alcohol is a welcomed relief from such big wines being made today in the US… Sweet, dark cherries filled my palate, and reminded me that this is such a pleasant summer red wine. I enjoyed the hint of smoke as a finishing touch. I highly recommend these Decopas offerings…
¿Decopas, mis amigos?
When, in the mid-1990s, Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer, announced its successful purchase of a collection of vineyards in the Mendoza region of neighboring Argentina, there was little doubt on either side of the Andes that change was in the air. Wind is an agent of change, so it was only fitting that the new venture was named “Trivento” (Three Winds: the Polar, Zonda, and Sudestada. ), a whimsical reference to three winds that sweep through Mendoza and are such a distinguishing feature of the region’s climate and environment.
2013 Trivento Reserve Torrentés (Mendoza, Argentina, $11)
Torrentés, my love, you have become my go-to white. Why? Your sexy appeal… You draw me in. I’m captured by your seductive charms. You taste like a night in Santa Fe, after the perfect winemaker dinner… Sophistication and charm, this is what makes up my love for Torrentes… So, to taste it? The bright yellow color lets you know that this wine is going to be a bit complex. On one hand, you enjoy a bit of the Mediterranean fruit of citrus, followed by a bouquet on the nose and then on the palate as a bouquet: roses, violets, hibiscus, and lavender. I always have you with Pan Pacific Foods, like what is served (and a by-the-glass wine at Chinois Asian Bistro… Home away from (cooking at) home.
2013 Trivento Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza, Argentina, $11)
Smooth, so smooth… like a fresh spring morning, after having spent the night before camping, having sat around a camp fire all night and into the wee hours of the morning, only to wake up to the sound of surf and birds chirping. Trivento has a way of smoothing out what would otherwise be rough edges for me. This wine is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, for starters. Rich deep garnet is the color of this wine. What a yummy Cabernet. (Sorry I don’t have a technical term for yummy; I’m betting that 95 percent of you can relate.) Cassis, black currant, blackberry, and black cherry, with almond on the finish and sweet vanilla.
With 6213 miles separating these grapes from their native land, wine grapes “from the Old World encountered generous sunshine and laborious hands at the foot of the Andes. In Mendoza, these grapes displayed their full potential, becoming the most cherished varieties of their new home, Argentina.” From their site: Bodega Trivento Argentina. This winery produces Malbec, Torrentes, and Chardonnay.
2014 Trivento Amado Sur Chardonnay blend (Mendoza, Argentina, $15)
What a magical combination for a white wine blend: You think it, you taste it, and your dreams are realized. It’s 70 percent Chardonnay, 20 percent Pinot Grigio, 10 percent Viognier… (Burgundy, Italy, and the Rhone… Yeah, it’s that great of a trip.) Lemony, juicy pears, then the tropical fruit, which I associate with Viognier kicks in. Last evening I had Pork & Pearls at River Front Inn in Jenner… This wine would have rocked it… The dish had apricots and nectarine, with pearl quinoa in a fruit reduction sauce. It was soft and round, closing with complete satisfaction. I’d buy this wine in a heartbeat.
2014 Trivento Amado Sur Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina, $15)
Malbec, how do I love thee, let me count the ways, borrowing from Elizabeth Barret Browning. A long time fan of Malbec, this one also hits a bull’s eye. Beautiful color, with ruby violet hues. Lusty flavors of fruit and spice and everything nice… soft as silk tannins that I’d like to slip into for the night. Cherries, strawberries, and blueberries… very expressive. The finish has the spice of the fruit and spice… Get ready for a taste treat.