José Galante has been Salentein’s chief winemaker since 2010. His professional background is highlighted by his 34-year experience acquired as winemaker of Catena Zapata, one of the pioneer wineries that positioned Argentinean wines in the world map.
What do you think about the style of Argentinian wines currently sent to foreign aisles?
In this respect, I think that the key players of the industry should maintain their commitment to quality. Great success has been achieved in a short time. Now it is important to strengthen and spread it with quality playing a leading role.
We cannot afford international markets to lose confidence in our wines and we should keep a close eye on the price-quality ratio concept.
Has Malbec wine reached its highest point abroad?
I think that it has not and that is why we must work hard to position Malbec wine as a classic wine in the world viticulture.
Considering international scores, do you believe in the potential of Cabernet Franc? Is there a revival of interest in Chardonnay?
Undoubtedly, Cabernet Franc grapes have a great potential. Wines with an attractive aromatic and tasting profile can be produced using this variety since in the nose it features the full expression and character typical of this grape. When tasted, they are wines with smooth and round tannins filled with freshness and long finish.
With respect to Chardonnay, I think it has never lost its place. It is the undisputed queen of white grapes. Wines produced with this variety confirm its versatility ranging from fresh and fruity wines to more intense and complex wines aged in French oak barrels. And all this without considering the multiple varieties of grapes offered by our regions. The most important thing is to maintain both balance and freshness.
Is the time of wood-aged and highly extractive wines finished?
Luckily, I have never endorsed this school that promotes the production of highly aged, extracted, and concentrated wines with long wood aging of which only one sip can be drunk. I have always loved to produce refined and elegant wines that consumers can drink easily as well as enjoy them.
I have never tasted a highly concentrated Premier Grand Cru Classe, not even from Burgundy. These wines have always been refined and elegant. I think that consumers have not changed their taste. In my opinion, that was a short-term model. People do not enjoy these wines. Anyway, some may think that people have changed.