Argentina Wines to Try Before You Die

I am headed to Argentina next month and will spend some time in Mendoza. I am not overly knowledgeable on wines from Argentina. Of course, I am familiar with Catena and Paul Hobbs. But, I’m wondering about what other producers I should be on the lookout for while down there…particularly wines that I may only find while in the country.

Thanks in advance.

Wine is expensive in Argentina since they subsidize exports. Beef is cheap.

A bottle of $20 Argentinian wine here is $80 to $100 on a wine list.

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Achaval Ferrer makes some great wines.

Cheval Des Andes a must try

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bodegas Noemia makes a very good Malbec from Patagonia, if you want to try something from a cooler climate there. Still lots of fruit and all, but less dark, more energetic.

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Noemia Malbec is fabulous. Hard to find.

There are some seriously big time wines ranging from pure Malbec to mostly Cab Sav to stunning Cab Franc. Below are some that I think are pretty top notch and pretty consistently excellent:

Aleanna Gran Enemigo Gualtallary (Cab Franc + some malbec)
Nicolas Catena Zapata (Cab Sav + Malbec)
Catena Zapata - Adrianna Vineyard wines (there are some racy chards out of this and great malbecs)
Achaval Ferrer Malbec Finca Altamira

+1 they have great pinot

and Catena Zapata - Nicola Catena Parcel Bonarda

for some good non-Malbec reccs

Hi Don,

Definitely be on the lookout for anything from Carmello Piatti. Lagarde was also a fantastic producer that I really enjoyed as well.

Instead of just thinking about Malbec, be sure to dig into the Cab Francs down there. Lots of producers are making it and some are doing a killer job.

If you go to 1884 Mallman, talk with the somm as he knows his list really well and helped me out perfectly.

Also look into O. Fournier and Carlos Pulenta’s Vistalba (one of the best meals I had in argentina was at Vistalba).

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When one US dollar = 40 Argentinean Pesos everything is pretty cheap - relatively. I remember my first trip to BA in 2001 when it was 1:1 with the dollar. Times have changed.
Try buying from a local wine retailer. Use US dollars and negotiate. More expensive bottles are really out of range for most locals since the peso has gone south. I think deals
can be had. I found that restaurants were very happy to see folks from outside Argentina coming in as locals are finding the higher end places too expensive as wages have not
kept up with the devalued peso.

Chacra (pinot’s) - Treinta y Dos, Cinquenta y Cinco
Achaval Ferrer (malbec) - Bella Vista, Mirador, Alta Mira
Catena Zapata Estiba Reservada (cabernet sauvignon)
Zuccardi Fosil (chard)
Riccitelli (Chard)

Have fun. Lots of great food and wine. The people and culture are fantastic!

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try Mendel

Good advice and don’t be shy of Bonarda and blends with or lead by Bonarda.

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I’m trying to picture a guy on his death bed, groaning with regret at not having tried Catena Zapata Bonarda.

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That really doesn’t match my experience the two times I’ve been. The wine part, anyway. The beef is definitely cheap. Dinner for two with a bottle of BenMarco Malbec was about $40 total at one place in Mendoza.

Most of the best, established wines are already exported. Starting a new winery is difficult because of acquiring water rights for irrigation.

Agree with Keith that there is some very exciting Cab Franc.

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To be fair it’s been 5 years since I have been there, but it was shocking how much wine cost and how little unreal beef did.

I think the unreal beef “tainted” the rest of your experience! [wow.gif] (Still remember my flank steak!)

I was told if you want to buy their top wines in Argentina, they will cost you 2 to 3 times more in Quebec, Canada.