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  • Grapes

    Barbera

    There’s so much Italian influence in the Argentinian wine industry, that it’s no surprise to see some of the country’s much-loved grapes being cultivated. Better understanding of soils, altitude, rights to water and improved vinification techniques have all influenced the ability to make quality wine from the likes of Barbera, which is usually not seen much outside its homeland of Piemonte in north-west Italy. Barbera wines are typically medium-bodied, with blackberry fruit and high acidity, making them the perfect choice to enjoy with cured meats and cheeses.

  • Grapes

    Bonarda

    Originating in the Piemonte region of Italy, Bonarda is the second most widely planted grape in Argentina after Malbec. It’s a grape that copes really well with the heat of East Mendoza, where around 60 percent of the grapes are cultivated to make an easy drinking, fruit forward style. In recent years, newer plantings have emerged in cooler parts of the Uco Valley, where producers are making more complex, elegant wines. The grape typically displays red fruit aromas of raspberries and strawberries, with subtle aniseed notes.

  • Grapes

    Cabernet Franc

    Hailing from the Loire Valley in France, and traditionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is getting a new lease of life in Argentina, with winemakers achieving excellent results as a single varietal. Volumes are fairly small and the best expressions are coming out of higher altitude vineyards, such as Gualtallary or Uco Valley. It’s an easy-going wine, with plenty of soft red fruit character, lively acidity and gentle tannins, particularly in cooler climates.

  • Grapes

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    The king of the red grapes in many people’s opinion, producing the world-renowned wines from Bordeaux’s left bank. The grapes are small, robust and thick skinned and they thrive in Argentina’s high-altitude vineyards. A significant diurnal temperature range slows down the ripening period of Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon, ensuring an excellent balance of sugar and acidity, as well as soft, ripe tannins. Best expressions will ooze blackcurrant fruit, cassis, as well as herbaceous notes such as mint and liquorice.

  • Grapes

    Chardonnay

    Famous for producing some of the best Champagnes and premium whites from Burgundy, Chardonnay also thrives in the high altitude, cooler climate of the Andean mountain range. Unoaked styles show light, citrus fruit character, while oaked Chardonnays offers richer, complex styles with toasty, buttery notes. Chardonnay accounts for around 15 percent of white wine production in Argentina.

  • Grapes

    Gewurztraminer

    This aromatic grape performs best in cooler climates, so it’s well suited to the higher altitude slopes of Mendoza. The grape has high natural sugar, so styles tend to be off dry, although excellent dry whites can also be made from this grape. Expect aromas of lychees, rose petals and passion fruit. Off dry styles offer a superb match to Asian cuisine.

  • Grapes

    Malbec

    Argentina’s flagship grape has charmed its way into UK wine racks over the last decade, with its soft, approachable character, notes of chocolate and coffee, and silky, smooth tannins. Originally from Cahors in south west France, Malbec has a long history in Argentina dating back to the 19th Century, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the Argentinian wine industry recognised the grape’s global potential. Argentinian Malbec now accounts for around 75 percent of all Malbec planted worldwide. The grape thrives in the higher altitudes of the Uco Valley, a region which has attracted much investment from foreign winemakers who saw the potential to produce world-class wines. Some of the best are being produced in Gualtallary, Paraje Altamira, Vista Flores.

  • Grapes

    Merlot

    A hugely popular varietal, planted widely across the globe. It produces the famous right bank reds in Bordeaux, while also delivering easy fruit driven wines from Chile. In Argentina, the majority of Merlot is planted in high altitude parts of Mendoza where producers are making elegant single varietal wines, as well as complex Bordeaux style blends. Merlot typically produces a lighter lighter-bodied wine, which is silky-smooth and approachable. Flavours vary from red berry fruit and herbs in cooler climate wines, through to dark, juicy fruit such as plums and blueberries in warmer conditions.

  • Grapes

    Pedro Blanco (Pedro Ximenez)

    More commonly associated with sweet fortified sherry from the region of Jerez, Pedro Ximinez is called Pedro Blanco in Mendoza and is capable of producing elegant, aromatic dry whites. It’s not widely planted but winemakers such as Mauricio Lorca are getting great results. Think Spanish Alborino; wonderfully aromatic but plenty of refreshing acidity and balance.

  • Grapes

    Petit Verdot

    They say big things come in small packages, and that’s certainly the case for Petit Verdot! It’s another classic Bordeaux variety that’s showing well as a single varietal wine in Argentina, as well as in traditional Bordeaux style blends. It’s a small, thick-skinned grape, which in high altitude parts of Argentina, is producing a bright, concentrated wine with spicy, aromatic and herbal notes, and an excellent tannic structure.

  • Grapes

    Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir undoubtedly produces some of the world’s best red wine, but its success very much depends on its location. It’s a delicate grape with thin skins, so too much sun exposure can be difficult. It therefore thrives in the cooler parts of Argentina, particularly in northern areas of Patagonia in the Rio Negro Valley. Some of the best Pinots from this region are noted for red fruit and mineral character, smooth, velvety tannins and good ageing potential.

  • Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc

    This classic French grape has gained huge popularity in recent decades, with new world examples offering a fruitier, aromatic style compared to the slightly more reserved and complex wines of Sancerre and white Bordeaux. Argentinian Sauvignon varies from green and herbaceous through to riper, tropical aromatics depending on where it's grown. It currently only accounts for around five percent of white wine volume.

  • Grapes

    Semillon

    This classic grape from the Sauternes region of France has adapted well to life in Argentina, particularly the cooler regions of Mendoza and Patagonia. The Semillon wines are dry with typical aromas of minerals, honey and apple. The Los Poetas Semillon from Bodega Altocedro is a classic example of quality Argentinian Semillon.

  • Grapes

    Syrah

    Syrah accounts for around 10 percent of red grape plantings in Argentina and has traditionally been cultivated in warmer regions of eastern Mendoza. In recent years, winemakers have planted Syrah at higher altitudes region of the Andean mountains to achieve wines with greater elegance and balance. Syrah typically produces a full-bodied wine, with rich black fruit character and a hint of spice.

  • Grapes

    Tannat

    In its native country or France, Tannat tends to play second fiddle to the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot, but excellent Tannat is emerging out of north and central Argentina. The best expressions of Tannat are found in Calchaqui Valley in Cafayate, and in the warmer zones of Mendoza. Tannat produces a full bodied, dry red with dark red fruit character and plenty of refreshing acidity. The wine will often spend a little time in oak or bottle before being released to allow it time to soften.

  • Grapes

    Tempranillo

    Tempranillo arrived in Argentina with the Spanish settlers, but it’s only in recent years that winemakers have started experimenting with the grape in the cooler Andean foothills, such as La Consulta in the Uco Valley. Tempranillo is a thick-skinned grape, which produces good tannic structure, yet it’s low in acidity and sugar, making it generally lighter bodied. Red fruits such as raspberry and cherry tend to dominate, while ageing in American oak, like the Spanish style Riojas, will bring out toast and liquorice notes.

  • Grapes

    Torrontes

    Torrontes is Argentina’s signature white grape, accounting for around 30% of production. It’s an aromatic grape, with distinctive notes of white flower. It thrives in the Cafayate Valley in the northern region of Salta, but other regions are now achieving great results with the variety. It’s often compared to Gerwurztraminer and is a great match with Asian foods.

  • Grapes

    Viognier

    Viognier was introduced to Argentina in 1993 and is fabulous when it’s young and fresh. As a grape with naturally low acidity, it benefits from altitude in Argentina, where it can achieve a better concentration of acidity and freshness. It typically shows notes of flowers, tropical fruits and orange blossom.