by Fred Tasker @ The Buffalo News
on September 3, 2014
In a restaurant in Buenos Aires, I ordered a “half” parrillada, so they plunked down only about five pounds of beef on the hibachi grill on my table. There were a half-dozen cuts of Argentina’s rich and chewy grass-fed beef – steaks, chops, blood sausages, kabobs … and a curious off-white rectangle cut about the size and shape of a box of matches.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Señor, it is the udder.”
The waiter beamed. My wife paled. My 8-year-old daughter made her lunch the french fries. I cut a little piece and chewed. It was tough and flavorless – utterly unlike the tender, juicy rest of the feast. Another life adventure chalked up.
But the wine. Oh, the wine was Malbec, the redolent, blue-velvet wine that has put Argentina on the map. It smelled and tasted of black sweet cherries and dark chocolate, with ample body and ripe tannins that gave it a silky finish.
Sipping Malbec all by itself is popular because it’s like biting into one of those indulgent chocolate-cherry bonbons by Brach’s. U.S. sippers in the influential 18-to-34 range flock to it for the same reason they like the Italian sparkling wine called Prosecco – it’s cool, and it’s cheap.
By Ted Scheffler on September 3, 2014
Salt Lake City’s Daily Feed
As we begin to put the wrap on another sizzling summer, I find myself being drawn towards Argentine Torrontes, a white wine that’s great all year round, but especially well-equipped for summer sipping.
The Torrontes grape grows like weeds throughout Argentina, and there are three different varieties: Sanjuanino, Mendocino, and Riojano. Since most of the Torrontes sold here is made from the Riojano variety, we’ll focus on that. It’s a grape that produces very aromatic wines – quite floral, with Gewürztraminer and Muscat-like aromas. If you like the floral qualities of Viognier, you’ll probably also enjoy Torrontes.
Torrontes wines are capable of being bone dry, but many I’ve tasted are off-dry, even slightly sweet, which make them a good choice for an aperitif, or just for sipping in the hammock. So, Torrontes can range from light and crisp, like Pinot Grigio, to rich and rounded, like big California Chards. In finding versions of Torrontes that are keepers, the main thing I look for – regardless of the wine style – is acidity.
February 23, 2014
Buenos Aires Herald by Sorrel Moseley-Williams.
Take a glass, preferably a wine-shaped one, and fill it with your Malbec of preference or a fun and floral Torrontés. We’re going to raise a toast to wine superstar Paz Levinson, who last week qualified as Argentina’s first Advanced Sommelier from the UK’s Court of Master Sommeliers. This, in case you aren’t quite sure, is a big deal. Speaking as one who is currently cooking the books in an attempt to become the lowest-ranked and least knowledgeable of sommeliers, trust me, it isn’t just about knocking back wine and slurring lyrical about it. No, no, I spit wine in school…
Urbandaddy JetSet Hotels
January 19, 2014
However, those studies were not conducted in a controlled environment with hot tubs and infinity pools and steaks grilled over roaring fires. So just to be sure…
Raise a glass to The Vines Resort & Spa, a few hundred acres of Mendoza wine country where you can live like an Argentine Dionysus, taking reservations now.
Think of this as summer camp for oenophiles (it’s basically July down there right now, you know). You’re staying in one of 22 villas, all tucked in a valley of nothing but vineyards and panoramic views of the Andes. And like any good camp, they keep a pretty strict schedule…
10 Jan 2014
The Telegraph by Victoria Moore
Argentina’s number one seller Malbec is a perfect comfort wine – a world away from Cahors, its gritty French forebear.
Let’s hope the 18th-century Frenchman responsible for propagating a certain grape, côt, through the Medoc, wasn’t a patriot. His name, Malbek, became synonymous with the grape but fate can be quixotic. Say it today and it’s not France you think of, it’s Argentina. Malbec, to give it the modern spelling, is not just Argentina’s biggest wine export – by a mile (we’re talking five times more, by value, than its closest competitor, cabernet sauvignon). It’s a vinous signature: an exuberant, big, scented style, a world away from the dense, grittily tannic, opaque wines from Cahors, that other centre of malbec excellence. And it has become a modern staple.
“Anything with Malbec on the bottle just flies out,” says Paola Tich of Park and Bridge wine shop in Acton.
Restaurant wine consultant and sommelier Alessandro Marchesan says Malbec is the red of choice of the well-lip-sticked out-of-towners who dine out in London at the weekend, in the same way that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has been the white.
“Malbec is like pizza and sex,” he tweets. “It doesn’t matter how bad it is for some people it will still be OK.”
Oh, hang on, that doesn’t sound quite so positive. I’m certain Marchesan doesn’t have any bad ones on his lists at the Shard and Roka but you can sense a certain frustration and he’s right to make the point.
04 January 2014
Independent.ie by Liam Campbell
In the aftermath of Christmas and New Year festivities comes an antidote to rich and heavy fare that is as refreshing and fragrant as a mountain breeze through a May orchard in full blossom — it is called Torrontés.
Unique to Argentina, Torrontés is that country’s emblematic white wine. Descended from the grapey aromatic Muscat of Alexandria varietal and the local Argentine Criolla Chica, Torrontés is fragrant with white flowers and a peach and mango fruity character complemented by a little spice, not unlike Viognier. Most vineyards are well over 600m above sea level. Some reach 2,000m in the northern province of Salta near the town of Cafayate, the highest commercial vineyards in the world. These high-altitude vineyards produce wines with a purity and concentration of refreshing cool climate character, despite being located near the Equator. Farther south, in the satellite wine regions of Mendoza city, Tupungato is recognised as producing top quality wines while the Uco Valley’s high-altitude vineyards account for fresher and crisper acidity. San Juan is hotter and drier than Mendoza and is gaining a reputation for some of the country’s finest Shiraz.
In Argentina, where the Malbec grape is king, winemakers have put a different and intriguing spin on what is usually known as a Bordeaux blend. Instead of the typical mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, they are relying primarily on Cabernet and Malbec.
Malbec because it dominates the vineyards of Mendoza, the country’s largest wine region. And Cabernet because making a top-of-the-line Malbec blend seems to beg for its cachet, especially if you have French partners.
November 21, 2013
Mendoza, Argentina.- Bodegas de Argentina, an association of 240 Argentine wineries designed to advance Argentine wine both nationally and abroad, today announced the publication of Argentina’s first wine and viticulture sustainability protocol. The 173-page document marks the culmination of a four-year study with the Catena Institute of Wine in collaboration with the association’s sustainability commission, local universities and government entities.
“Our winemaking region, a high altitude desert, is different from any other in the world,” said Laura Catena, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine. “The Bodegas de Argentina Sustainability Protocol takes into consideration our geographic, climatic and social environments, and will pave the way for small growers and wineries of all sizes to farm sustainably and preserve our centuries old viticultural heritage.” Lee mas
Nov. 7, 2013
Will Lions on Wine @ The Wall Street Journal
IN ARGENTINA THEY PLANT their vineyards high. In some areas, like the Andean foothills, the altitude can be a dizzying 2,000 meters, and sometimes higher. To put that into a more easily graspable European context, that is more than six times the height of the Eiffel Tower. It’s the altitude that explains the unique flavor and character of Argentinian wines. In short, the higher the vineyards the more intense the sunlight, hence the thicker the skins grow and the more acidity the grapes acquire.
I have only ever seen this light from above, flying over the Andes on my way to Santiago. But speak with any Argentinian winemaker and they will wax lyrical about it. When I mentioned Argentina to wine consultant Michel Rolland, his eyes lit up as he talked about the purity of the mountain air and the intensity of the light.
August 1, 2013 by Julia Hollister.
Argentinean winemaker Ernesto Bajda, brought his Don Miguel Gascon Malbec to San Francisco last week along with his story of fate in the vineyards. “I believe it was destiny that I am in the wine industry,” he said. “My father and grandfather were coopers who made the wine barrels and I was supposed to be an accountant. So, it’s ironic today that they made the barrels and now I am filling them.” Read full article
Monday, July 22, 2013
Buenos Aires Herald with Telam
Survey on consumption
In case there was any doubt, now it has been scientifically proven: Argentines like their wine. Households spend 630 pesos a year on wine and drink, an average 41 litres of the beverage, a recent study showed. Red wine leads the preferences —white and rosé wine varieties are not as popular. “Wine is mostly the choice of households with housewives over 50,” stressed Juan Manuel Primbas, country manager for Kantar Worldpanel Argentina, a consultancy. “In that segment, there is an increase in both the number of buyers and the average amount spent.” Wine is the drink of choice for households with one or two members, without kids, explains the study, which was carried out from a survey of 3,500 households nationwide. Lee mas
HuffPost Taste | Daniel Altman.
So you love Malbec. That’s fantastic — so do we. But how do you choose the right Malbec for you? Every province in Argentina makes wine, and most of them make Malbec. The country extends so far from north to south that it has every kind of terroir you can imagine, and there’s a Malbec for everyone along the way.
Though Mendoza makes most of Argentina’s wine, Malbecs are arriving in numbers from Salta, San Juan, and La Rioja further north, and from Rio Negro and Neuquen southwards in Patagonia. You might also be lucky enough to find a Malbec from Cordoba or La Pampa in your neighborhood wine shop. Read Full article Lee mas
June 17th 2013
Forbes | Travel | Katie Kelly Bell, Contributor.
The Steve Jobs of Wine is an apt metaphor to describe the ardent exactitude of winemaker and consultant Paul Hobbs. He’s a quality fanatic. Twice named Wine Personality of the Year by Robert Parker, Hobbs was first hired by Robert Mondavi for his expertise in oak aging, he then moved on to Opus One and later Simi Winery. Hobbs is also credited with recognizing, despite the skeptics, the winemaking potential in Argentina, (while we were all distracted and busy swooning over California). His efforts helped bring that region into global focus. Now he’s busy running Paul Hobbs Winery and Vina Cobos in Argentina. He’s also consulting, sharing his knack for finding good dirt with winemakers across the globe. Given his global perspective I was curious to hear his thoughts on the business of wine today, the role of critics and where he sees new frontiers. Paul Hobbs, photo courtesy of Mitch Tobias Read full article.
Centurion Magazine by Sorrel Moseley-Williams | May 14th 2013
Although one of Argentina’s trump cards is its Malbec grape, the South American nation also holds a strong hand when it come to its wine experts. Earlier this year, Argentine sommelier Paz Levinson represented her country at the 14ème Concours A.S.I. du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde in Tokyo, reaching the semi-finals – no mean feat considering she was up against some of the finest noses in the business. Here is her top five selection of Argentine wines for 2013.
World wine producers are crying in their cups. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), world wine production fell 6 per cent in 2012, to a 37-year low. And smaller grape crops in Argentina, as well as France and Spain, are to blame.
This is bad news for Argentina, where consumers’ love affair with Malbec – at home and abroad – has put the country on the world wine map. Full article