We love learning more about wine as much as the next person. Our very own Tim is a bit of an expert on Argentina, so much so that he publishes a very extensive report each year on the country and its fantastic wines.
Ahead of our wine tastings events that are fast approaching, we asked Tim what is so great about Argentinian wines and what to look out for from the producers that will be joining us in Cardiff, Cambridge, London and Manchester…
What is so special about wines from Argentina?
Argentina is a land of immigrants in many ways, which means that it has a unique mixture of Spanish, Italian and French grapes. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the New World. It’s also a lot more varied in terms of its landscapes and grape-growing regions than people imagine, which means that the country can make almost any wine style. It’s the United Nations of wine.
What’s exciting right now about Argentina?
Energy, passion, diversity and the development of new regions, especially in cooler and higher altitude areas. The local economy isn’t in great shape (it rarely is), but the weak peso means that now is a great time to visit even if you’ve got pounds in your pocket.
Why is Malbec so popular?
It tastes and smells wonderful and it’s easy to pronounce! It’s also a lot smoother and less forbidding than it is in its native south-west France. The one thing that people forget is that, however great, varied and distinctive Argentinian Malbec can be, the country produces lots of other things. I’d suggest you start with Malbec/Cabernet Franc blends and then start to explore all the other red wine styles, from Bonarda to Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon to Tempranillo,
Any good tips what to look out for?
Aim high, or low if you go far enough south. Most of the really exciting areas in Argentina at the moment are in the Andes, especially in the Uco Valley, or in southerly latitudes. Chubut, one of the most southerly wine regions in the world, is extreme and very marginal, but it’s making some thrilling wines. I’d also keep an eye on Uspallata, located in Mendoza age 2,000 metres on the road through the Andes to Chile.
Argentina wineries joining us this year:
Beefsteak Club (London)
Bodega Norton (Manchester)
Taste Argentina (Manchester)
Tim’s Argentina Wine Report can be purchased via his website www.timatkin.com
- Viñalba’s vines in the Uco Valley can be seen in the feature image above.