Here's a couple of wines from Graffigna in Argentina. I've written recently about the Pinot Grigio, and my amusement at an Italian grape and an Italian name coming from Argentina. This really shouldn't be surprising, since there was a lot of Italian emigration to Argentina, and roughly 60% of Argentinians have some Italian heritage. Italian is the second most spoken language in the country after Spanish.
South America has so many fascinating immigration stories, like South Asians in Trinidad and Tobago or the influx of Japanese in Peru, including former president Alberto Fujimori. But let's get back to the wine...
Graffigna was founded in 1870 by Italian immigrant Don Santiago Graffigna, and his wines were the first Argentine wines to be exported abroad. There's an interesting history with the introduction of trains and radio and the devastating earthquake of 1944.
2010 Graffigna Pinot Grigio Reserve
$12, 13.5% abv.
This wine holds up as well as the first time I tried it. Light touch of chalk and lime curd, substantial body with a mild citrus profile and a slightly tart finish. Great for seafood, and this isn't your "mommy in the bathtub" Pinot Grigio.
2008 Graffigna Malbec Reserve
$12, 14% abv.
I've always admired a simple and inexpensive Malbec. This one starts out with black cherry and cassis, but then there's a touch of rich, savory tobacco. Medium tannins with a good fruit profile, though it avoids being jammy or over the top. Utterly delicious with a bacon cheeseburger.
Note: These wines were received as samples.