Best Argentinian Wines
May 1, 2010
HIGHCatena Zapata Malbec 2007 $23
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival’s successful focus on the wines of Argentina means lots of these great bottles will be available to enjoy year round. More than any, the wines of the Catena family show the country’s full potential. Their mid-priced Malbec (there’s also the stunning Catena Alta at $56) is a treat, and was one of Wine Spectator’s 100 best wines last year. Bright purple, rich and ripe raspberry fruit, spicy sweetness with coffee and chocolate, it stakes its dense, lush, plush texture with a burst of acid followed by a long, long finish. This wine is unequivocally made for meat.
LOWMasi Tupungato Malbec Corvina 2007 $16
The Masi family, owners of one of the top estates in Northern Italy, has exported Venetian know-how to Argentina’s Tupungato Valley. The flagship wine, Passo Doble, plays on their signature technique of making wine by double fermentation. Its core is Malbec, made in the usual way, but then they add Corvina grapes partly dried for several months (the foundation of Amarone) and re-ferment the wine. The result is remarkably elegant with bright sour cherry fruit, savoury and earthy with plenty of smoke and spice. A wine to drink with dinner rather than by itself, and a good friend to any dish with Parmigiano. VM