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Wine from Argentina

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Argentine wine has flooded the US wine market and rightly so. Their wines are excellent and the price almost always falls in what we call the value category. This country has more 90 point wines under 15 dollars than any other country. Their most popular grape being the Malbec and the most popular region being Mendoza. Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world and there viticulture dates back to 1557. Up until the 1990’s Argentine wine was focused on mass production. However we are now seeing quality wines coming from the use of modern viticulture techniques.

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4 Gatos Locos Cabernet Sauvignon Gualtallary 2020

4 Gatos Locos Cabernet Sauvignon Gualtallary is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

4 Gatos Locos is a project created by Gabriel Bloise, Facundo Bonamaizon, Mariana and Juan Pelizzatti - winemaker, viticulturist and founders of Chakana Winery (respectively). The project centers on a 20-hectare vineyard in Alto Gualtallary, the most prominent growing region in Argentina. The vineyard is situated 1,360 meters above sea level, on a 10% slope on the Sierra del Jaboncillo - a relatively old geological formation near the alluvial fan of the Las Tunas river, in the Tupungato area. The long exposure to arid conditions of calcium rich gravel has created one of the most calcium carbonate-rich areas in Mendoza. This combination of altitude, slope, gravel and the calcium carbonate create uniquely deep, textured wines, with intense color and mineral freshness. Moderate high temperatures controlled by high altitude in sunny conditions produce perfectly ripe grapes of unusually intense color and great vitality, balanced by the mineral freshness of calcium carbonate. Local aromatic plants, naturally occurring in native vegetation areas interspersed in the vineyard, give the wine a unique herbal touch that underline the character of the place.


Deep purple red colored with intense complex notes of red berries and spice, well integrated aromatic oak and very fine tannins structuring a powerful and elegant palate.


Andeluna 1300 Merlot 2003


All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.




Avatar Cabernet Sauvignon - 2022

Avatar Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged in 100% French Oak barrels for 4 months and then 6 months in the bottle beofre release

Avatar is the embodiment of the Agrelo´s terroir in a wine. Striking, audacious, joyful, profound. A spontaneous and honest experience for the senses. Challenging pleasures.

Presents a vibrant red color with glints of bordeaux. Great aromatic intensity. The spiciness of the nose is echoed on the palate and combines well with juicy red fruit flavors. It expresses in a very fresh way, with red fruits, sweet tannins and balanced acidity.

Coming from Agrelo district.
Average of the vines is 25 years old.
Soil type: Alluvial and sandy soils with a big amount of rocks just besides the Mendoza river. This is one of the most prestigious terroirs in Argentina.
Winemaking: Crushing, destemming and maceration pre-fermentative at 11ºC for 24 hours. Alcoholic fermentation in tanks. 4 weeks of skin contact maceration. Aged in French oak barrels for 4 months, Malolactic fermentation in contact with fine lees.
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling.

Avatar Malbec 2019

Avatar Malbec is 100% Malbec.

Aged in 100% French Oak barrels for 4 months and then 6 months in the bottle beofre release

Presents a vibrant red color with glints of bordeaux. Great aromatic intensity. It expresses in a very fresh way, with red fruits and a remarkable sweetness. In the mouth it’s balanced with round and sweet tannins, rich and with a marked acidity.

Coming from Agrelo district. 
Average of the vines is 25 years old. 
Soil type: Alluvial and sandy soils with a big amount of rocks just besides the Mendoza river. This is one of the most prestigious terroirs in Argentina.
Winemaking: Crushing, destemming and maceration pre-fermentative at 11ºC for 24 hours. Alcoholic fermentation in tanks. 4 weeks of skin contact maceration. Aged in French oak barrels for 4 months, Malolactic fermentation in contact with fine lees.
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling.

Avatar Organic Malbec 2022

Avatar Malbec is 100% Malbec.

Aged in 100% French Oak barrels for 4 months and then 6 months in the bottle beofre release

Presents a vibrant red color with glints of bordeaux. Great aromatic intensity. It expresses in a very fresh way, with red fruits and a remarkable sweetness. In the mouth it’s balanced with round and sweet tannins, rich and with a marked acidity.

Coming from Agrelo district. 
Average of the vines is 25 years old. 
Soil type: Alluvial and sandy soils with a big amount of rocks just besides the Mendoza river. This is one of the most prestigious terroirs in Argentina.
Winemaking: Crushing, destemming and maceration pre-fermentative at 11ºC for 24 hours. Alcoholic fermentation in tanks. 4 weeks of skin contact maceration. Aged in French oak barrels for 4 months, Malolactic fermentation in contact with fine lees.
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling.

Ayni Malbec Paraje Altamira 2020

Ayni Malbec Paraje Altamira is made from 100 percent Malbec.

Ayni is the Quechua term for the principle of reciprocity, practiced for centuries by the Andean people - "in order to receive, you first have to give." Chakana's renowned Paraje Altamira vineyard, which sits 3,300 feet above sea level, bears the name Ayni & is the source of the Ayni wines.

Deep ruby-red in color with violet hints. Complex and intense bouquet, featuring blackberries, cherries and plums, with delicate floral notes and spices. Balanced and fresh; full-bodied with good length of spices.


Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.

Review:

“A cellar selection coming from a vineyard that sits 3,200 feet above sea level, the 2020 Malbec Ayni Paraje Altamira sports a deep purple hue as well as gorgeous aromatics of ripe black and blue fruits, savory herbs, graphite, and hints of tobacco. It's ripe, powerful, full-bodied, and opulent, with a silky, seamless mouthfeel and beautiful overall length. This fruit-loaded, sexy, powerful effort will drink well for at least 7-8 years.”  

-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points



 95 Points
Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Single Vineyard La Esperanza Bonarda 2018

Cellar for up to 8 years. No need to decant before serving.

El Enemigo was founded by historian Adrianna Catena, who is also Nicolas Catena’s youngest daughter, and Catena Zapata’s chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil in 2009. These two legendary figures on the Argentine wine scene came together over a mutual love for literature and philosophy, and decided to create their own wine label that would offer a unique taste of Argentina’s exceptional terroir and its Old World winemaking heritage.

Today the brand is responsible for many of the most exciting wines coming out of Argentina, including this sensational single vineyard Bonarda. Bonarda is little-known in Europe these days, but it has a special place in Argentina where it’s considered the nation’s second red wine after Malbec. La Esperanza is a very special 150 year old vineyard that was about to be uprooted when it was discovered by Alejandro Vigil. Luckily he was able to save 5 hectares from which he makes a few hundred bottles of this wine each vintage.

Once in the winery this precious fruit is vinified with wild yeasts and the young wine ages in large foudres that are over 100 years old. The result is a remarkably elegant and vibrant red that’s bursting with luscious red cherries, plums and blackberries as well as hints of dark chocolate. A charming wine to serve with tomato-based dishes thanks to the refreshing acidity, smooth tannins, and bright fruit flavours.

Review:

Blackberry, red-plum and graphite on the nose, as well as herbal and smoky notes. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm tannins. Fleshy texture on the palate with structure and a ink-like feel. Savory finish. Hints of chocolate at the end. Try after 2023.

-James Suckling 94 Points


 94 Points
Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Single Vineyard Los Paraisos Bonarda 2018

Varietal-100% Bonarda

Vineyard- El Mirador Vineyard in Rivadavia, 2,132 ft. Elevation. Soil composed of mostly sand.

Ageing & Vinification- Wild Yeasts with 25 days maceration , 12 Months ageing in 100-year-old foudre.

Tech Data- 13.5% ABV, Acidity 6.1, pH-3.7

Review:

Sour cherries, blueberries and spice box on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with firm tannins. Savory and fleshy on the palate with some structure, leading to a flavorful and fruity finish. One of the best bonardas out there. Try after 2023.

-James Suckling 94 Points

 94 Points
Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo El Cepillo Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2018

Enemigo El Enemigo Gran Enemigo is made from 100% Cabernet Franc. 

In the spectrum of people who pay attention to detail, winemakers are often incredibly detail-oriented.  This can sometimes spill over to become an internal battled, and, as Alejandro Vigil and Adrianna Catena state, "We are our own worst enemy." El Enemigo pays homage to this internal struggle.

The nose presents sweet aromas of black ripen fruits with hints of vanilla and chocolate, which appear after the oak ageing. The mouthfeel is sweet with structured, persistent tannins due to the natural acidity of this wine, leading into an excellent long finish. 

Review:

The nose of the 2018 Gran Enemigo El Cepillo Single Vineyard, from a low-yielding and drier year, is full of curry, a note that was a constant across the three vintages I tasted together, but it tends to be stronger in low-yielding and dry years like this. It's also floral and comes through as aromatic and a little exotic, in a good way, with elegance, persistence and very pure flavors. It has fine-grained tannins, great acidity and balance. 7,200 bottles. All these single-vineyard bottlings mature in ancient 4,000-liter oak foudres for some 15 months.

-Wine Advocate 97 Points


 "Pretty and inviting on the nose with gorgeous aromas of floral violet, cassis and completed with a lifted, delicate liquorice note. The palate is graced with deep herb, pepper, crunchy red fruit and graceful, silky tannins."

-Decanter 97 Points

 Wine Advocate: 97 97 Points
Bressia Lagrima Canela 2019

Bressia Lagrima Canela is made from 70 % Chardonnay, 30 % Semillon

Barrel fermented for 14 months in new French and American oak

Lagrima Canela means 'cinnamon tears'. This white blend shows an intense greenish-yellow wine with luminous golden highlights. It has fresh, elegant floral aromas, lent to it by its grape varieties, as well as melon, pear and toasty oak. Medium bodied with a creamy texture and outstanding depth and concentration.

Light gold colored with a perfume of candle wax, pear, melon, and toasty oak, on the palate the wine is medium-bodied with well-integrated oak, dry flavors, a creamy texture, and outstanding depth and concentration.

 


The classic Bressia white, this year comes 70% from Gualtallary and the rest from Agua Amarga, both areas in the Uco Valley. The blend is 70% chardonnay and the rest semillon and is aged between seven and eight months in barrels. It is a lovely wine, full of jam, white fruit and honey notes. The mouth is silky, but of great intensity, filling it with that unctuousness. A classic among Argentine whites that is already in its 11th vintage.
Patricio Tapia - Descorchados 95 Points



 95 Points
Bressia Lagrima Canela 2020

Bressia Lagrima Canela is made from 70 % Chardonnay, 30 % Semillon

Barrel fermented for 14 months in new French and American oak

Lagrima Canela means 'cinnamon tears'. This white blend shows an intense greenish-yellow wine with luminous golden highlights. It has fresh, elegant floral aromas, lent to it by its grape varieties, as well as melon, pear and toasty oak. Medium bodied with a creamy texture and outstanding depth and concentration.

Light gold colored with a perfume of candle wax, pear, melon, and toasty oak, on the palate the wine is medium-bodied with well-integrated oak, dry flavors, a creamy texture, and outstanding depth and concentration.

 


"This inspiring, revolutionary blend of Chardonnay with 30% Semillón was first made in 2006 and has been one of Argentina’s best whites ever since. New oak-fermented and aged, with subtle baking spice and toast aromas, waxed lemon, saffron and beeswax flavours, lovely texture and weight and a fresh, tangy finish. 2023-30"

- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2022), 95 pts



 95 Points
Bressia Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc 2018

Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc has beautiful ruby red with purple highlights.

It displays aromas of ripe red berries with a nice wood smoke complexity, thanks to the aging in French oak barrels. The wine has a very good structure, but the tannins are still quite round and integrated.

Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. No filtration and no fining.

The finish is very long and will allow the wine to be consumed with food, such as grilled meat or cheese.

Review:

"From the Uco Valley, the 2019 Cabernet Franc Monteagrelo was aged in French vats for 10 months. A light purple in hue, the precise, expressive nose presents notes of green pepper, blackcurrant and ash with hints of jalapeño. Smooth with a broad palate, the flow is corseted a little by the mild freshness, as is the bold finish. A delicate red of a kind you rarely see in a Cabernet Franc. - Joaquín Hidalgo"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 92 pts


 

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Bressia Monteagrelo Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Bressia Monteagrelo Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernert Sauvignon.

Vineyards are 3,000 feet above sea level, located in Lujan de Cuyo.

"Bressia Monteagrelo combines the soul of each varietal, its intimate relationship with the origin and its deep roots with a unique terroir in the world...Monteagrelo is our family of wines and, as in any family, each one expresses their own identity and varietal personality that makes them unforgettable and unrepeatable." - Walter Bressia

Intense red color with purple tones. Pepper, spice and red fruit aromas on the nose. Well balanced, ripe and harmonious. Full bodied with great structure.

 



Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec 2019

Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.

Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. No filtration and no fining.  

Bressia Monteagrelo combines the soul of each varietal, its intimate relationship with the origin and its deep roots with a unique terroir in the world...Monteagrelo is our family of wines and, as in any family, each one expresses their own identity and varietal personality that makes them unforgettable and unrepeatable." - Walter Bressia

Monteagrelo Malbec is sourced from vineyards in Tupungato, La Consulta & Agrelo. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.

Attractive and intense red-colored wine with purple tones. It exhibits ripe red and black fruit aromas, mixed with vanilla, chocolate and coffee nuances. Good concentration, great structure, delicate tannins and a long, harmonious finish.

 

Review:


"The 2019 Malbec Monteagrelo is a blend of grapes from the Uco Valley and Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza and was aged for 10 months in French vats. Garnet red in the glass, the nose offers notes of ripe plum and oak with hints of biscuit and pepper. Slick and broad, the voluminous flow brings gentle tannins and freshness. It’s creamy at the back of the mouth with hints of fruit. - Joaquín Hidalgo"


  - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 91 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec 2020

Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.

Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. No filtration and no fining.  

Bressia Monteagrelo combines the soul of each varietal, its intimate relationship with the origin and its deep roots with a unique terroir in the world...Monteagrelo is our family of wines and, as in any family, each one expresses their own identity and varietal personality that makes them unforgettable and unrepeatable." - Walter Bressia

Monteagrelo Malbec is sourced from vineyards in Tupungato, La Consulta & Agrelo. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.

Attractive and intense red-colored wine with purple tones. It exhibits ripe red and black fruit aromas, mixed with vanilla, chocolate and coffee nuances. Good concentration, great structure, delicate tannins and a long, harmonious finish.

 

Review:

"The 2020 Malbec Monteagrelo was aged for 12 months in French oak. Purple in the glass. The intense aromas feature plum liqueur, cassis and hints of blackberry in an oaky, cigar box frame. The palate is broad and full-bodied with a channeled but voluminous, grippy flow. - Joaquín Hidalgo"

  - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (January 2023), 92 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Bressia Profundo 2017

Bressia Profundo is made from 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah

Profundo began during the era of “assemblages” in Argentina; wines from various grapes combined in different proportions, achieving a singular, complete wine with great definition.

The Malbec, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah come from Lujan de Cuyo vineyards 3,100 feet above sea level. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.

Intense red color with purple tones. Delicate strawberry, blackberry aromas intertwined with chocolate, tobacco, dulce de leche and vanilla nuances. Harmonious and elegant in the mouth with a long finish.


Review:


"The 2017 Bressia Profundo is half Malbec with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah from Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo and was aged in used American and French barrels. A rich purple in color, the complex nose offers violets and white pepper with hints of ripe plum, raspberry and blackcurrant with whiffs of mint and balsam over a bed of oak. Indulgent initially, the flow grows voluminous and gentle with delicate tannins enlivened by the juicy freshness. A nuanced red of ephemeral flavor. - Joaquín Hidalgo"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 94 pts




   

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94
Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Malbec 2019


This wine is floral, exuberant, with lengthy smooth tannins, and metallic notes.


This cuvée takes its name from a small parcel of the Adrianna Vineyard that is completely covered with oval white stones and was the site of an ancient riverbed. The abundant stones provide optimal drainage and extreme temperatures. They absorb heat and moderate the nights, but also function like ice cubes after a very cold night. Stony soil Malbecs tend to be extremely aromatic, rich and luxurious, just like the River Malbec from Adrianna. This wine can be enjoyed young or aged for decades.


Pair with grilled meats.

Review:

The old River Stones has seen its name simplified to 2019 Adrianna Vineyard River. This is an exceptional vintage for this bottling, from a very stony part of the large Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, close to the dry river. It's the equivalent to the White Stones white, with a north-facing exposure, the warmer exposure, which in cooler years like 2019 works nicely. The wine has harmony and subtleness, insinuating violets and wet stones, with a rare combination of power and elegance, with minerality and spice, precise, focused and harmonious. The tannins are abundant but very fine and ripe with a chalky sensation in the finish. It has 13.8% alcohol and very good freshness, acidity and healthy parameters. Best after 2023.

-Wine Advocate 99 Points

 Wine Advocate: 99
Chakana Cabernet Franc 2021

Chakana Cabernet Franc is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc.

Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.

Expressive and ripe nose, juicy texture and intense fruit. Excellent balance, well integrated tannins and stunning minerality.

Review:

- Tim Atkin (Argentina Report 2023), 91 pts

 91 Points
Chakana Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Calcareous gravels deposited by the Tunuyan river in the South of Valle de Uco and by the Las Tunas river in the North of Valle de Uco have created the two most promising growing areas of Mendoza, which are only now being developed and explored, bringing a new dimension to the wines of Argentina.

Aromas of black fruit and spices blended with mineral, graphite notes and freshness typical of calcareous soils. The palate demonstrates the power of Gualtallary combined with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine finessed texture, which is tight and refreshing.

Vineyard: This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the two outstanding subregions of Valle de Uco - the power and structure of Gualtallary with the elegance and freshness of Paraje Altamira. 20-year old vines.
Soil: Sandy with calcium carbonate-coated fine gravel up to 45 cm deep

Vinification techniques are performed in the most gentle way, avoiding the use of enzymes and must amendments. Fermentation is performed with native yeast only.

Superb with grilled red meat and grilled vegetable (Argentinean Asado).


Chakana Chardonnay 2022

Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.

Estate Chardonnay is from Chakana's Altamira vineyard (3,200 ft elevation).

Yellow color with green hints. Deep and clean aromas of pineapple, toasty notes and a fresh mineral character and finish. A good body, dense and lively on the palate.

 


 

 

Chakana Estate Chardonnay 2021

Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.

Estate Chardonnay is from Chakana's Altamira vineyard (3,200 ft elevation).

Yellow color with green hints. Deep and clean aromas of pineapple, toasty notes and a fresh mineral character and finish. A good body, dense and lively on the palate.

 


 

 

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