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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. Escondido Torrontès, Mendoza, 2014

    Escondido Torrontès, Mendoza, 2014 75cl

    A beautiful light golden colour, this wine is highly aromatic with a strong floral character on the nose. Stone fruit characteristics come to the fore on the palate, with some more floral notes present on a crisp finish.

    More about this product
    £7.62
    6 or more
    £8.65
    each
    £6.35
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £7.21
    each Excl. VAT
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  2. 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.

    More about this product
    £10.38
    6 or more
    £11.24
    each
    £8.65
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £9.37
    each Excl. VAT
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