Top Argentine Wine Picks in Four Different Price Brackets

Argentine Wine — By

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When most people first arrive in Argentina, they have no idea what wine to choose.  Usually, they end up drinking a few standard wines all the time because they don´t know what else to order (Trapiche, Norton, or a Rodas Malbec seem to be the most common).  This is unfortunate, because Argentina has great wine, and I mean REALLY great wine, in all price brackets.  Nevertheless, you have to know what to buy.  Just like wine in any country, the quality of similar priced wines can vary significantly.

Here is a list of some of the best wines you can buy in different price brackets, depending on what you´re looking for.

Great wines that cost 10 pesos or less

With the heavy inflation Argentina has experienced over the last few years, there is no longer a good variety of quality wine for less than 10 pesos.  However, here are a few very drinkable wines, perfect for every day drinking.

El Vasco Viejo 2007 (Lopez) $6.80 – This is one of my favorite wines when it comes to value.  It is a blend of Bonarda, Malbec, and Tempranillo, and the grapes come from the Lopez vineyards in Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo.  Fruity and easy to drink, a decent wine, and when you consider the price, an incredible value!  Our top choice for a budget, everyday wine.

Traful White 2008 (Lopez) $7 – Another one from Lopez, props to them for good cheap wines.  This one is a blend of Chenin Blanc and Pedro Gimenez from the Maipu region. It is light and fruity with a slight floral nose, and a decent finish for a cheap white.

Tocornal (Concho y Toro Tinto) $6.50 – fruity and easy to drink.  Nothing special, but a solid choice for what you´re paying.

Fina Beltrán Dúo Tempranillo-Malbec (Zuccardi) $9.90 – This rare combination turns out to be a nice wine.  The combination of a fruity Malbec with the fullness and spice of a Tempranillo make this a wine with complex flavors, and great with steak.

Aberdeen Angus Clasico Borgoña (Finca Flinchman) $9.50 – Mainly Malbec blended Bonarda, this wine has tastes more like a Cabernet than the two grapes it’s made from.  Another good wine for your steak.

Valderrobles Chablis 2008 (Esmeralda) $7.50– a pleasant fruity wine with a nice citrus finish.   A great drinking wine, but would also go well with food.

Great wines that cost 20 pesos or less

Wines that were under 10 pesos before are now around 15 pesos.  There is a great selection for wines at this price range, here are five of the best.

Quara Torrontes 2007 (Felix Lavaque) $18 – located in Salta, Quara makes some of the best Torontes in the world.   Floral aromas prepare you for the strong peach flavors mixed with hints of jasmine and lemon, followed by a nice, satisfying finish.   This is a flavorful Torrontes, a great value and a versatile summer wine.

Grafigna Vinculos Syrah-Cabernet (Grafigna) $13 – a fruity and easy to drink wine, this is a crowd pleaser.

Callia Alta Shiraz-Bonarda 2008(Callia) $14 – Pretty much any wine with Shiraz from Callia Alta is worth buying.  This blend is an Expose favorite – complex rich fruit flavors, nicely rounded with typical shiraz spice,nice acidity, and smooth tanins.  A great wine that will hold up to any food with strong flavors, but is also great on its own.

Trilogie Malbec – Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2007 (Domaine Vistalba) $15 – A great blend of three varieties – dark fruit flavors, a hint of green and red peppers, and a hint of vanilla.  Very nice, and an excellent value.

Humberto Canal Semillon 2007(Humberto Canale) – $20 – another excellent value.  Floral aromas lead to an intense honey flavor with floral notes and a touch of peach.  This is a refreshing, complex wine with loads of flavor.

Great wines that cost 30 pesos or less

You can start to find some really impressive wines in this price range.  These five are outstanding, highly recommended!

Cabarello de la Cepa – Malbec 2007 $30 – the Caballero de la Cepa line of wines from Finca Flinchman is excellent, and this one is arguably the best.  Rich fruit flavors with a hint of vanilla and spice, nicely balanced and a great finish.

Trapiche – Fond de Cave Chardonnay 2006 -$26 – this wine is an amazing value.  It is bursting with flavor, and has a very long finish.  Easily one of the best whites you´ll find in this price range.

Altos Las Hormigas Bonarda 2007(Colonia Las Liebres) $30 – a wine that truly makes you believe the Argentine Bonarda could be the next Malbec. A velvety wine with rich fruit flavors, this is a nearly perfectly wine, showing off the best of Bonarda.

**This wine is very difficult to find.

Perdriel Terruño Malbec 2007 (Norton) $21 – An excellent Malbec for a very good price, this tastes just like a Malbec should.  It has a rich combination of plum, red fruit, eucalyptus, and coffee flavors, and is a very versatile wine.

Graffigna Centenario (Graffigna) Pinot Gris – $26 – A complex blend of floral and peach/apricot flavor, with a very long citrusy finish.  This wine is very crisp, making it a great wine to sip in the summer, but also great with a meal.

Great Wines that Cost less than 50 Pesos

Argentine wines can blow you away at this price.  If you are a tourist, these wines are somewhere in the US $10/  € 8 range.   You should definitely take advantage!

Amalaya 2006 (Colomé) $37 – This has been rated as a wine of great value in various wine magazines, including the prestigious Wine Spectator, which gave it 91 pts.  It is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tannat.  It is full of rich fruit flavors, green pepper, a hint of spice, and nice, loooooong finish.  A wine that pleases everyone.

Amalaya Torrontoes 2006 (Colomé) 2007 $36 – What can I say?  Colomé definitely knows how to make great wines.  This Torrontes is one of the best out there, and has been recognized in the past with various awards.  It has intense flavors of honey, caramel, apricot, and citrus.  Not a typical Torrontes, but definitely one of the most pleasing.

Perdriel Merlot 2004 (Norton) $45 – Argentina is not known for good Merlots, and there is a reason for this.  However, this one is definitely an exception and is one of our favorite Merlots.  Rich velvety texture, this has delicious dark and dried fruit flavors, with a hint of spice and chocolate.

Alamos Reserve Tempranillo 2005 (Catena Zapata) $37 – The entire Alamos line is a solid choice if you’re looking for a quality wine.  However, they are badly overpriced in the Argentine market (in the International market they are priced much more competitively, and therefore a much better bargain). This Tempranillo is an exception, and well worth the money.   Rich, complex fruit flavors with hints of mint and spice, this is a meaty wine that can hold up to any cut of Argentine beef, even if you cover it in chimichurri.

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2007 $40 (Altos Las Hormigas) – This may be the ultimate Malbec.  If you are looking for a great Malbec to bring back home, or you just want to try an amazing, typical Argentine Malbec, this should be the one.  A strong, flavorful wine with rich, dark fruit flavors, strong but not overpowering tannins, and a hint of vanilla.  Perfect for asado, a wine to appreciate.

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