Monday, December 14, 2009

WCOW: Argentina Single Red Varietal Nationals

Country: Argentina

Manager: Liam Carrier

This week we head down to South America and look at a couple unique wines at opposite ends of the oak-aging spectrum. I haven't included a Malbec in this try-out (yet) to highlight the availability of quality wines made from unique grapes in Argentina. Both Bonarda and Tannat are originally from Europe but have found a welcome home in the wonderful grape growing regions of Argentina.

Wine #1: Los Moras 2007 Reserve Tannat
Cost: $15-17
Region: Valle del Tulum - San Juan
Notes: 16 months in oak. Great aging potential with fine tannins and good acidity. Shows promise as a unique alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon. Drinking a bit young at the moment.
Full Review: Follow Link
Score: 87+ points

Wine #2: Bodegas Sur De Los Andes 2007 Bonarda
Cost: $14
Region: Mendoza
Notes: Unoaked. Dark fruits, cherry nibs, blueberries, cassis and vanilla notes. Made the Icon Wines top ten list for value wines of 2009.
Full Review: Follow Link
Score: 88 points

Conclusion: The Bonarda fruit-bomb is one fun wine to drink. It is ready to drink now and i think will be a great entry into the WCOW next June in the Single-Red Varietal blind tasting. The Tannat, although a good quality wine in its own right, has not yet peaked. I'm hoping to get my hands on another bottle or two for my cellar to age for two years and see if the tannins mellow and balance out the palate.

The next time you are perusing the shelves of your local wine shop looking for a good under-priced, over-delivering Argentina wine, try skipping the familiar Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon and pick up a bottle of Bonarda or Tannat. You will be pleasantly surprised. - LC

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