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Argentina

The vineyards of Argentina are planted ever higher, and the quality and reputation of its wine is heading in the same direction. The potential is huge, and only just touched upon.

The conditions unique to Argentina, such as exploitable altitude and ease of irrigation, combined with its seductive signature grape of Malbec and the vast array of vines established by successive waves of immigrants. 

The vineyards of Argentina are planted ever higher, and the quality and reputation of its wine is heading in the same direction. The potential is huge, and only just touched upon.

The conditions unique to Argentina, such as exploitable altitude and ease of irrigation, combined with its seductive signature grape of Malbec... read more.

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History

As in Chile, it was the Spanish who introduced the vine in the sixteenth century but did little with it. It was not until the nineteenth century, when immigration from all over Europe began, that wine was produced on a meaningful scale. The French, the Spanish and the Italians all brought their grapes and their liking for wine with them.

The most significant arrival has proved to be Malbec. Known as Cot in its native Bordeaux, and all but wiped out by the phylloxera plague of the late 1800s, Malbec has hit heights in Argentina that France has never seen.

Climate and Conditions

Winemaking in Argentina has come to resemble the race to climb Everest: it is all about altitude. The trend is for ever higher vineyards and some of the country's finest wines list height above sea level as a mark of distinction. This is not mere macho posturing.

As long as frost can be avoided, the low night-time temperatures at altitude allow a long growing season and maximisation of flavours. Meltwater can also be channelled to water the vines. Extremes of altitude, however, are not a prerequisite for the production of quality wine.

The Wines of Today

Malbec will remain the bedrock of Argentina's growth in exports, and it is increasingly being blended with other red grapes to enhance its appeal. White wine has traditionally failed to excel, but with foreign expertise and investment it has improved immeasurably along with the reds. Torrontés, probably a native of Galicia in Spain, is of particular interest, though the ever adaptable Chardonnay has so far yielded the most impressive results. Argentina is emerging and promises much.

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  1. Gouguenheim Torrontés, Mendoza, 2014

    Gouguenheim Torrontés, Mendoza, 2016 75cl

    The vibrant aroma has generous floral notes which carry through to a palate that brings a splash of stone fruit flavour. The finish is dry with and pleasing, with the floral flavours superbly persistent.

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    £9.90
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    £10.96
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    £8.25
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    £9.13
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  2. Los Haroldos Torrentés

    Los Haroldos Torrentes, Mapio, 2017 75cl

    A grape variety, that could be considered obscure, is going from strength to strength and becoming very popular because it offers something a little bit different. Stone fruit aromas are well supported by fragrant floral overtones. On the palate there is a generous splash of red apple with the floral character kicking in and carrying through to a delightfully unique finish.

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    £8.94
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    £9.95
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    £7.45
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    £8.29
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  3. Las Pampas Chenin Torrentés, Mendoza, 2015

    Quara Estate Viognier, Salta, 2017 75cl

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    £9.82
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    £10.94
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    £8.18
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    £9.12
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  4. Uvas del Sol Pinot Grigio, Mendoza, 2017

    Uvas del Sol Pinot Grigio, Mendoza, 2017 75cl

    An aromatic and refreshing white wine with notes of peach and melon.

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    £8.28
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    £8.95
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    £6.90
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    £7.46
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  5. Escondido Malbec, Mendoza, 2014

    Escondido Malbec, Mendoza, 2017 75cl

    Rich and strong aromas, including scents of ripe fruits, plums, black cherry, black currant, chocolates and violets.

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    £8.16
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    £8.94
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    £6.80
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    £7.45
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  6. Gouguenheim Pinot Noir, Mendoza, 2015

    Gouguenheim Pinot Noir, Mendoza, 2017 75cl

    Bright ruby red colour, with medium intensity. Intense aromas of raspberries and cherries, with mint notes. Medium body wine, with soft, silky tannins and well balanced acidity.

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    £9.48
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    £11.08
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    £7.90
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    £9.23
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  7. Gouguenheim Bonarda Syrah, Mendoza, 2013

    Gouguenheim Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, 2016 75cl

    A full bodied, fruit driven wine with a strong backbone of blackberry and cassis, mouth covering tannins and a long finish. Best when paired with rich red meat dishes.

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    £9.00
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    £10.34
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    £7.50
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    £8.62
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  8. Gouguenheim Malbec Reserve, Mendoza, 2013

    Gouguenheim Malbec Reserve, Mendoza, 2016 75cl

    Deep purple color with aromas of red fruits, chocolate and coffee beans. Red and black cherry flavors with scents of flower. Very nice fresh oak on the finish, very complex and yet balanced.

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    £12.00
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    £13.94
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    £10.00
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    £11.62
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  9. Los Haroldos Roble Malbec, 2016

    Los Haroldos Roble Malbec, 2016 75cl

    Ripe red fruits, smoke and chocolate all show on the forward and intense nose. The palate has elegant tannins and subtle acidity that all underpin the brambly fruit, sweet smoke and hint of meatiness

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    £12.78
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    £14.95
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    £10.65
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    £12.46
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  10. Las Pampas Malbec, Mendoza, 2015

    Las Pampas Malbec, Mendoza, 2018 75cl

    This is a delicious attractive wine. Quite full on the palate with notes of damson and plum fruits. Soft and rounded with a light toasty character. A really great value wine.

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    £8.16
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    £8.94
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    £6.80
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    £7.45
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  11. Los Poetas Libertad, Uco Mendoza

    Los Poetas Libertad, Uco Mendoza, 2017 75cl

    An expertly blended red wine madue using traditional Bordeaux varieties that is fruity full bodied and rich.

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    £11.94
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    £12.95
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    £9.95
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    £10.79
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  12. Recoleta Malbec, Mendoza, 2015

    Recoleta Malbec, Mendoza, 2017 75cl

    An extremely smooth Malbec from start to finish which is bursting with luscious black fruits and a slight hint of smoke adding further layers of complexity. Great with red meats and BBQ food.

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    £10.44
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    £11.95
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    £8.70
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    £9.96
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