Ricardo to the Rescue

June 5, 2010
Reflections on Wine by Tom Hyland.

ricardo santos semillonI’ve been tasting a number of Argentinian wines lately, so I’ll have a number of posts on these wines over the next few weeks. To start, I wanted to comment on two wines from Ricardo Santos of Mendoza.

Santos is the former president of Norton Winery and was the first Argentinian producer to export Malbec into the United States some thirty years ago. Today he produces a small amount of Malbec under his own label along with Semillon. I’ll start with the Semillon.

When most people think of white wine from Argentina, Torrontes is the variety that comes to mind. For Santos, his choice for a crisp, dry white is Semillon. The recently released 2009 is excellent and to me an ideal wine for summertime seafood or light grilled foods, such as chicken or pork. Medium-bodied, it has fresh aromas of fig, lemon rind and quince. Medium-full, it’s quite rich with beautiful acidity and a long, flavorful finish. In a word, it’s delicious! Best yet, at $15 retail, this is one of the best white values you will find this summer – highly recommended!

His 2008 Malbec is priced at $19 and it’s a serious example of this variety. Ripe with blackberry and red cherry fruit along with a touch of mocha and light black spice, it’s a perfect wine for spare ribs in the grill or just about any red meat, especially sirloin. With beautiful complexity and a light tanginess, this is a step or two above the simple, fruity, $10-12 Malbecs you find everywhere these days. It’s also highly recommended.

Imported by Global Vineyard Wine Imports – available in most markets across the United States.