On February 18 to 22, the 7th edition of the Argentina Wine Awards 2013, the contest organized by Wines of Argentina and COVIAR (Argentine Wine Corporation), was held in Mendoza. There, 12 international and 6 national judges assessed over 700 samples from 182 Argentine wineries. Among them, 24 achieved a Trophy, whereas 49 reached a gold medal, 242 silver and 314 bronze.
Ten of the 24 trophies were attained by WineSur’s member wineries. The winemakers of these wines share in this article the characteristics of each of them.
Terrazas de Los Andes swept the board at the Argentina Wine Awards, winning three trophies with its wines: Terrazas Reserva 2010, Single Vineyard Los Aromos Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Single Vineyard Las Compuertas Malbec 2010.
As regards the first one, Adrián Meyer, the winery’s winemaker, said that the grapes of this wine, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, come from vineyards located in Perdriel and Uco Valley. Secondly, Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Los Aromos, made with the same variety. “This wine is sourced by grapes from a 25-year-old vineyard located in Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo, at 980 meters above sea level, based on the terrace concept. This means that each varietal wine grows at the ideal altitude, soil and climate.”
Finally, in relation to Cabernet Sauvignon, he pointed out that “Argentina has the advantage of the continental characteristics, entailing no oceanic influence, reason for which we have longer summers, making grapes ripen consistently.”
With respect to Malbec, Single Vineyard Las Compuertas Malbec 2010 was placed in the range over USD 50. This wine is made of grapes from a vineyard planted in 1929 in Luján de Cuyo. “Thanks to its age, the grapes give the wine a great color and fruit concentration and good structure. Besides, in the case of this line, we implement the terroir concept, expressing in a bottle the greatest consistency and quality of a vineyard,” highlighted Meyer.
Then, it was Callia’s turn with 2 trophies. The San Juan-based winery, belonging to the Salentein group, stood out with its wines: Callia Reservado Bonarda 2011 and Callia Magna Syrah 2011, San Juan’s signature grape variety.
The winemaker of these wines, José Rubén Morales, explained that both products are sourced by vineyards planted in the Tulum Valley. “In both cases, the fruity characteristics predominate as well as the complexity and color. Besides, none of them are overoaked, using second-use barrels. We have been so careful in this aspect, and the oak supports the fruit without overshadowing it. They are modern and easy-to-drink wines.”
In the category between USD30 to USD 50, Numina 2010 of Salentein winery was placed. According to its winemaker, José Galante, this wine is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. “Its grapes come from the oldest vineyards of the winery, from Finca El Oasis, at 1,050 and 1,200 meters above sea level. The grape varieties making up this blend are carefully selected. This way, our aim is that each of them expresses the best of the place.”
In addition, Galante commented that this is a wine intended particularly for Netherlands and Switzerland, and that it is a complex example, with sweet tannins and great concentration.
On the other hand, Andrés Kemeny, Export Manager at Bianchi winery, said that this is the second year in a row that Familia Bianchi Chardonnay 2012 attains a Trophy, “what shows its stability in the market. The first one was reached last year (AWA 2012) by its 2011 vintage”.
The grapes used to make this product are from the winery’s own vineyards in San Rafael, Mendoza. This exponent is aged in French and American oak barrels for 12 months. Among its characteristics, “fruity aromas stand out, with smoked notes granted by the oak. It boasts an exceptional complexity.”
Then, Sergio Eduardo Casé, Trapiche’s winemaker, received the award granted to the wine Finca Las Palmas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. He said that it is an exclusive line intended for export, priced at USD 25 retail. “Its grapes come from an emblematic estate of Trapiche, located in Rusell, which has different trellis systems and soils. For this estate, the agronomy and winemaking team has carried out a study in order to select the best plots and get the best grapes.”
Lastly, he stressed: “this wine exhibits a very intense color. On the palate, it is pleasant and not astringent, flaunting docile and sweet tannins.” Last year, this wine, the 2008 vintage, also received a Trophy.
Another of the trophy-winning wineries was Trivento, with its Trivento Reserva Malbec 2012, within the price range from USD 6.99 to USD 12.99. Germán Di Césare, winemaker of this company, told WineSur this product is sourced by two vineyards, 50% from Luján de Cuyo and 50% from Uco Valley. This wine has a production of 1,200,000 liters, 90% of which is exported. “This line is the icon range of Trivento. Our aim is that each variety expresses its greatest tipicity. In the case of Malbec, it is a wine with an intense color, fruit and a great aromatic profile. Only 30% of this wine is aged in oak during 6 months, making it a jovial, fresh and vigorous example.”
Finally, within the category of blends between USD 20 to USD30, the Trophy was given to Finca Flichman Dedicado 2009. “This is a blend of Malbec and a great percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. With a 12-month aging in new French oak, this wine amalgamates all the grape varieties, achieving a soft wine with a concentrated structure.”