If you have read this blog for any amount of time you know I have a deep love for the wines of Argentina. The wines are delicious, delivering full-bodied, full-flavored selections filled with character. As beautiful as the wines produced in the country are, the people of Argentina make the taste that much more endearing as they are humble, generous, talented, and skilled at creating wines with a sense of place while displaying their heritage. The country boasts an eclectic mix of origin stories, including winemakers hailing from Argentina, as well as Italy, France, Spain, America, and more, finding their way to the South American country to produce premium wines with personality and character.
Why such a diverse mix? Some arrived in Argentina seeking opportunities that would never be made available to them in their home countries. While many arrived understanding that the terroir, situated in the foothills of the majestic Andes Mountains, with a diversity of soils, climates, elevations, and sun exposure had the possibility to create wines of distinction. And, the cost of an acre of land in Mendoza or Patagonia is a tiny fraction of what an acre of land would cost in Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy, or Bordeaux.
Lucky for us, as the wines are bold and beautiful, filled with tension, complexity, and structure, particularly the wines produced from the country’s signature variety, Malbec, as well as other Bordeaux selections.
Bodega Luigi Bosca opened in the Luján de Cuyo district of Mendoza over 120 years ago, and today the fifth generation of the Arizu family carries on the family tradition of producing quality wines showcasing the essence of Argentina. Founder Leoncio Arizu arrived in Argentina from Spain in 1890, settling in Mendoza, the fourth generation of his family to make wine in Europe. He saw the promise and potential available in Argentina, particularly the Luján de Cuyo district which reminded him of his Spanish home. Luigi Bosca De Sangre ($30) is a nod to the storied history of the family, a “tribute to those that began writing the winery’s story” per the winery. The red blend melds Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah for luscious, silky, smoky wine with ripe cherry, blackberry, cracked pepper, and toasted cedar. Balanced, with a broad, inviting palate that is complex without being overbearing, with a nice balance of acidity to keep the tannins in check. Allow the wine to open a bit before enjoying, and then sip slowly and enjoy. This one is tasty.
With a history dating back to 1883, Trapiche Broquel Series Malbec ($15) is produced from hand-selected estate vineyards averaging 25 years old sitting at elevations ranging from 2900-3500 feet above sea level. The series is meant to symbolize the heritage of the Trapiche family, symbolizing their dedication to not only quality wine production but also Argentina. Filled with ripe black plum, black cherry, crushed stone, and a touch of dried violets enjoy paired with a hearty grilled ribeye or braised short ribs.
One of the finest winemakers and consultants in the world, Michel Rolland, first visited Argentina in the mid-1980s and was immediately struck by the opportunity that existed in the soils of the high elevation Andes Mountain foothills. After years of searching found the ideal place to produce structured Bordeaux-style wines, a nearly 2000-acre site sitting at roughly 3800 feet above sea level. He brought in fellow winemakers and friends from Bordeaux to create a unique concept, the development of four individual bodegas (wineries,) each producing their own wines but also coming together with each vintage to produce Clos de los Siete ($25), taking the best from each part of the expansive vineyard to create the perfect blend. Powerful and robust, Clos de los Siete brings together predominantly Malbec, with a mélange of varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, from stony Uco Valley soils creating a nicely structured wine with character. The wine opens with inviting aromas of blackberry and blueberry, pipe tobacco, and vanilla, followed by flavors of black fruits (plum, fig, cherry) with anise, woody herb, and crushed stone. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, to ensure the essence of place shines through this textured wine. Pair with grilled or roasted beef or lamb shoulder, pulled pork or brisket tacos, or nicely aged parmesan or gouda.