Exploring the value in Argentine wines
An Argentina wine thematic is happening right now at a number of local B.C. LDB stores. It continues until October 26 with a selection of 30-odd wines specially chosen for this event. It’s our chance to discover the fabulous white wines (especially Torrontés) and rich, hearty reds (particularly Malbec) of Argentina. These are some of the best buys in the stores right now: some are priced as low as $13 and not many are over $25.
Argentina is the fifth-largest wine-producing country in the world, with most of its wines consumed at home. This promotion aims to help change that, and there’s no denying that many of the wines chosen for this event are some of the best buys in the world.
Try some new, delicious—and cheap—wines from Argentina. Lots of tasty, fine-value whites and reds to be had. This week, we’ll take a look at some of them.
Santa Julia Pinot Grigio 2012 ($13.99)
This is fresh and light despite the 13.5 percent alcohol. Neutral and thirst-quenching, with delicious fruit and a nice long finish.
Crios Torrontes 2012 ($16.99)
Quite high in alcohol for Torrontés (14 percent), spicy-sweet, and full. Great with Timbits and other sweet baked treats, including fresh-fruit pies and main dishes with fruit sauces.
Michel Torino Cuma Organic Torrontes 2012 ($13.99)
Cuma means "clear and pure" in the pre-Incan Aymara language. A fragrant and full Torrontés with a floral aftertaste that may be an acquired taste. Well worth acquiring. If it’s still on the shelves next summer, stock up.
Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2012 ($14.49)
The year 1970 was the 100th anniversary of the winery and also the year this PG was first released. It’s herby-lemony and fresh, fine for dozens of foods, especially cream-sauced pastas and shellfish salads.
Santa Ana Reserve Torrontes 2012 ($12.99)
Citric/floral aromas off the top, well balanced, with plenty of fruit and just a hint of oak. Made from hundred-year-old vines. Good acidity. A great apéritif wine and excellent with spicy Indian and Asian dishes.
Trivento Amado Sur Torrontes/Viognier/Chardonnay 2012 ($14.95)
This may well be my favourite version of this unique Argentine varietal in our market right now. The blend is 80 percent Torrontés, 10 percent Viognier, and 10 percent Chardonnay. Lots of lime flavours, rich and bright. Absolutely lovely.
Catena Malbec 2011 ($16.99)
The Catena Zapata family lays claim to being “Argentina’s Malbec pioneer”, having produced the wine since 1902. Rich and chocolatey, it goes well with most meats and dark chocolate.
Michel Torino Estate Don David Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011 ($16.01)
Inky black in the glass, intense and dark-hued, lots of oak and hints of cigar leaf. One of the biggest Cabs of my tasting experience from anywhere.
Valle las Acequias 100% Malbec Oak 2007 ($22.99)
Probably the oldest vintage in the lineup, a beautiful Malbec, oaky and smoky, “with a touch of confit”, according to the label.
Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($14.99)
Soft and floral, with lilacs on the nose, a bright and fruity Cab that’s long been a favourite with B.C. wine lovers.
Norton Privada 2010 ($24.75)
Spicy, rich blend of Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes, it is one of the costliest wines in this thematic, but it’s also very, very good.
La Posta Cocina Tinto 2011 ($17.99, limited-time offer)
A heady blend of 60 percent Malbec, 20 percent Syrah, and 20 percent Bonarda (another unique Argentine grape). Very dark, plummy, and spicy.
Vistalba Corte C 2012 ($19.99)
Deep purple, fruity, and full, with a big, bold, lengthy finish buoyed by a solid 14 percent alcohol. A great Sunday roast or steak wine.
All in all, these wines are outstanding value for everyday drinking or company at dinner. Look for them while they’re here in the Argentina section of your B.C. LDB store.