Argentinian wine: world-class wine players

09 August, 2018

Vegetti says: “The challenges for all the agents of our industry come from the difficulty of our economy with high inflation and the fluctuation of our currency versus the US dollar.”

Jump concurs: “From a commercial point of view, the biggest challenge lies in keeping costs of production stable in an economically volatile environment.”

OPPORTUNITIES

In terms of opportunities for winemakers, Crozier says: “In many ways, they are finding a new identity. This can only be done through a persistent drive to discover what each region can bring to the collective geography of Argentina. Which variety does best in each sub-region? What do each of the regions bring to those varieties? How can you define these regions? These are the opportunities that face us today.”

“The country has limitless potential for exploration of site, latitude vs altitude, aspect, soil and mesoclimates along the length of the country,” says Morton-Small. “In recent years there has been extensive exploration of sub-appellations in the Uco Valley and Patagonia and the single vineyard wines we make at Finca Decero in Agrelo, Mendoza, are examples of terroir and truly reflective of their site of origin.”

Bodegas Bianchi CEO Rafael Calderon says: “Argentina’s USP is to make available easy-drinking Malbecs with sweet and soft tannins, complexity, colours and aromas which delight day-to-day world consumers. Terroir uniqueness with diverse elevations at almost 2,000km length parallel to the Andes mountains showcase the diversity of styles, not only with Malbec, but also with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Torrontes and Cabernet Franc, among others.

“We have recently invested in a new estate in Vistaflores, Uco Valley, adding alongside Malbec new grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Viognier and Petit Verdot to our San Rafael-based portfolio,” adds Calderon

Bloise says: “Growers and producers will need to re-examine the mostly desert conditions on which viticulture is practised in Argentina and plan for sustainable vineyard practices adapted to these conditions, instead of following chemical recipes and standard mechanical practices.

“Winemakers need to stabilise on stylistic criteria that can convey the sense of place, while brands (mostly larger ones) need to offer ‘transparent’ wines that respect the sense of place. The desperate need to accommodate the reality of a complex economic-production environment to international trends, journalist tastes and market preconceptions has not permitted the creation of a consistent offer focused on terroir,” says Bloise.

Di Cesare says: “We already know the benefits of different terroirs as far as Malbec goes. We are about to launch a three-of-a-kind Malbec range from three micro-terroirs within Uco Valley, Trivento Gaudeo.

“We are also challenging ourselves with the elaboration of premium blends, with Trivento Lejanamente Juntos, an elegant combination of Malbec and Cabernet.”

THE STORY OF MALBEC RETOLD

Catena’s Dr Laura Catena, a fourth-generation vintner, says: “Malbec is a 2,000-year-old grape. It was known in Roman times and then was famous in the Middle Ages at the Court of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 12th century. It was an important part of the Grand Crus from Bordeaux classified in 1855. It has lasted so long because it is simply delicious. It has rich aromatics, sometimes floral, sometimes dark fruits, depending on the origin, and a rich, complex, smooth mouthfeel. It ages beautifully but is also delicious young.





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