13 May 2011

Argento Wines

Last year I tried a Malbec from Argento Wine, but that was just one out of over two dozen bottles produced by the company. I got an opportunity to try five more recently, three of them representing grape varieties that are traditionally successful in Argentina.

2010 Argento Cool Climate Pinot Grigio
Mendoza
$13, 13% abv.
Slight musky nose and a bit of a dark honey flavor. Bone dry with a little crisp finish, and overall a deeper, darker form of Pinot Grigio. What does "cool climate" mean? It's not a strictly defined term, but they also have a regular Pinot Grigio. In this case, it refers to the high altitude valleys of Rivadavia and Uco in the foothills of the Andes. In other parts of the world you can have cool climate vineyards either through proximity to the poles (Canada, England) or cool ocean currents (Chile) or both (Tasmania). While most Pinot Grigios call for fairly weak food pairings, this one would be strong enough to stand up to a heartier pasta dish like spaghetti alla carbonara.

2010 Argento Torront├ęs
Procedencia Salta
$13, 13.5% abv.
This comes from way up north near the Bolivian border. Bright pineapple aroma, floral, mineral finish. Tart acidity. Medium body. This is a delicious, fascinating wine and is highly recommended. It would be a lot of fun to serve to someone who has never had a Torront├ęs before. Roast up a bunch of quail, lay out some figs and goat cheese, and have a blast.

2009 Argento Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendoza
$13, 13.5% abv.
Mild aroma of blackberries and cherry. It has a thin body with low fruit and low tannins, really restrained for a Cabernet Sauvignon. It's the only cab sav I've ever had that was light enough to pair really well with grilled salmon.

2009 Argento Bonarda
Mendoza
$13, 13.5% abv.
Big nose of raspberries and pomegranate. Tart red berry flavors, medium tannins, and a long finish. Bonarda is also known as Charbono in California, and originally comes from the Savoie region of France where it's called by names like Corbeau and Charbonneau. It's mostly been a blending grape, but as always, I find it interesting to taste these on their own. Like Malbec, it's a French grape that has really flourished in Argentina and is the country's second most planted grape.

2009 Argento Malbec Reserva
Mendoza
$16, 13.5% abv.
Dark plum and earth, with a touch of ash. Low tannins, a soft, round mouthfeel, and a balanced fruit flavor. Smooth and tasty now, but should be even better in a couple of years. Excellent bargain, and highly recommended for any red meat dish.


Note: These wines were received as samples.

2 comments:

The Winos' said...

I've never tried a "cool" climate Pinot Grigio, but I would certainly love to try one that could stand up to heavier meal.

Great review!

Benito said...

Winos,

Pinot Grigio has always been pretty thin and unexciting to me, but I've had so many complex and tasty ones in the past two years.

Cheers,
Benito