Despite the fact that consumption is concentrated on the middle-price ranges, sales of these products go up every day, whereas icon and high-price wines have still their places in the global market. These are chosen by hedonistic and more experienced consumers, who are knowledgeable about products from all over the world and are willing to spend USD 100 per wine bottle, as they know that the value will be returned in quality. And this smaller niche is where Argentine products have their place. Ten brands lead this ranking. Most of them belong to small wineries, with low productions and focused on the foreign market. Whereas only two of them, correspond to middle-sized companies, aimed at both domestic and foreign markets, which offer a wider range of products.
Taking into consideration the ranking made two years ago, these two wineries, Dominio del Plata and Luigi Bosca, were the newly incorporated brands, while the others have been leading the list for some time now. This list was made by Área del Vino’s Área Premium, considering the January-March period of 2013, but the retail prices were corroborated by these wineries.
The first winery appearing in the list is Viña Cobos, with two of its wines: Cobos Malbec at an average retail price of USD 220 per bottle and Coboc Volturno at USD 240.
Luis Barraud, winemaker and owner of this winery, explained that Cobos Malbec wine has an annual production ranging from 500 to 700 cases. In the case of Cobos Volturno, 400 to 500 cases are produced. According to the winemaker, every year, both products are sourced by the same plots, so the amount of cases depends on the amount of grapes the harvest yields. However, he stressed that the important thing is that the production of these wines is sold out before the release of the next vintage. Likewise, he expressed: “both are intended for different destinations, being the main ones: Argentina, United States, Brazil, and Germany.”
Downwards in the list, the wines Achaval Ferrer, Finca Altamira and Finca Bella Vista are found, whose retail prices are between USD 100 and USD 125 a bottle. All of them are sent to over 60 countries around the world.
Santiago Achaval, owner of this winery, said that the grapes used for these products come from three estates of old vines, single-vineyards, which yield between 20 and 25 quintals per hectare.
Next on the list: Weinert Estrella 1977 of Bodega Cavas de Weinert. It was in 1977 when the winery got ready to sell its first vintage, which turned out to be an exceptional one as regards weather conditions: good day/ night temperature differentials and dry weather. “Don Raúl selected 5 barrels whose evolution and ageing process resulted in a wine of superior quality. This product is a 100% Malbec sourced from an 80-year vineyard located in Luján de Cuyo”. Besides, Robert Parker granted 94 points to it. Its retail price in Argentina is ARS 3,000.
In addition, Noemia winery managed to include two wines in the list: Noemia and Noemia 2, with retail prices per bottle amounting to USD 110 and USD 140, respectively. Hans Vinding, owner of the company, highlighted that in the first case, it counts on a production of 5,000 bottles, and in the second, only 1,400.
“These wines are exported to 17 countries, mainly to the United States and Scandinavian countries. Noemia and Noemia 2 are characterized by expressing the terroir and elegance,” he explained.
Made by Dominio del Plata, the wine “Nosotros” was placed within the Top 10 of Argentina’s more expensive wines. According to the winery, it is a product with a retail price of USD 100 a bottle. Its limited production amounts to 10,000 bottles, intended for United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and China.
Susana Balbo, Dominio del Plata’s winemaker and owner, stated that this is a wine displaying an elegant and balanced profile. “It conveys the effort of all people working every day in creating this wine. It is considered the “selection of the winery’s selections”, maintained Balbo.
Moreover, Luigi Bosca also appears in the list with its wine “Icono”, which is sold at a retail price of USD 150 per bottle in the United States. Apart from being shipped to different countries, among them United States and Brazil, this wine is also intended for the domestic market, priced at ARS 1,400.
According to the winery, the production of this wine is 5,831 bottles and is made by winemakers José Irrera and Vicente Garzia. “Icono is a red blend made of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Malbec. Its grapes come from vineyards of Finca Los Nobles, in Las Compuertas, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza,” explained the winemakers.
Last but not least, Walter Bressia’s wine Conjuro (ARS 650) is found. This is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from Tupungato Valley, Mendoza, located at 1,100 meters above sea level. This wine was aged for 18 months in new French and American oak barrels and stored for 24 months. The 2007 vintage, as well as the 2008, received high scores. Robert Parker rated it 93 and 94 points, respectively, while Tim Atkin included it among the “Best Red Blends” of Argentina.