Argentina Wine Awards 2014: Who Were the Winners?

The Trophy award winners

The Trophy award winners

Mendoza, February 25, 2014 – On Friday, February 21 at Bodega Escorihuela Gascón the winners of the Argentina Wine Awards 2014 were announced to a large crowd of over 250 wine owners, winemakers, provincial government authorities, wine industry executives, members of the judging panel and journalists.  The competition is organized by Wines of Argentina under the coordination of the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR).

  • 12 international and 6 Argentine judges tasted more than 650 samples.
  • Trophies were announced for the 20 categories, which in turn were divided into 5 price ranges each.
  • 150 wineries, with a total of 650 samples, participated in the 8th edition of the Argentina Wine Awards, a competition that seeks to reward both the quality and the advancement of the Argentine wine industry.
  • 4 Regional Trophies, 12 Trophies, 58 gold medals, 256 silver medals and 276 bronze medals were awarded at the competition.

In the Malbec category, the Trophies went to:

TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >13.00 <19.99

Es Vino Reserve Malbec 2012Es Vino Wines
TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >20.00 >29.99

Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2011La Casa del Rey SA- Alta Vista
TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >30.00 <49.99

Vineyard Selection Malbec 2012Riccitelli Wines
TROPHY

Category: malbec

       >50.00

Republica del Malbec – Blend de Terroirs 2012Riccitelli Wines

In the sparkling wines category, the Trophy winners were:

Category: sparkling mt       >13.00 <19.99

Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs 2007

Familia Zuccardi

In the case of Cabernet Franc, the Trophies went to:

Category: cabernet franc       >20.00 <29.99 Numina Cabernet Franc 2011

Bodegas Salentein SA

Category: cabernet franc       >50.00

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2010

Andeluna Cellars Srl

On the last day of the AWA, an interesting 2-part seminar was held. During the first part of the seminar, 6 international judges presented to the audience “heavyweight”wines which are successful in other markets not only because of their sales volume but also because of their wineries’ sustainability over time.

During the 2nd part, the same 6 international judges spoke about their markets and gave their feedback on the regional Argentine market focusing on the tasted wines.  This seminar, held every year in the framework of the AWA, fosters the exchange of views in the world of wine.

“The AWA 2014 winners, a sampling of the best of Argentine wine, will be representing Wines of Argentina throughout the year around the world.  This 8th edition has been particularly important due to the presence of highly regarded judges, the quality of the participating wines and the feedback given during the seminar,” said Alberto Arizu, President of Wines of Argentina.

List of Trophy winners – AWA 2014:    

TROPHIES AWA 2014

SPARKLING – méthode traditionelle

TROPHY

Category: sparkling mt

       >13.00 <19.99

Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs 2007Familia Zuccardi

TORRONTÉS

TROPHY

Category: torrontés

       >13.00 <19.99

Colomé Torrontés 2013

Bodega Colomé

CABERNET FRANC

TROPHY

Category: cabernet franc

       >20.00 <29.99

Numina Cabernet Franc 2011

Bodegas Salentein SATROPHY

Category: cabernet franc

       >50.00

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2010

Andeluna Cellars Srl

CABERNET SAUVIGNON
TROPHY Category: cabernet sauvignon

       >30.00 <49.99

Bramare Lujan de Cuyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Viña Cobos SA

MALBEC

TROPHY Category: malbec

       >13.00 <19.99Es Vino Reserve Malbec 2012

Es Vino WinesTROPHYCategory: malbec

       >20.00 >29.99Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2011

La Casa del Rey SA- Alta VistaTROPHYCategory: malbec

       >30.00 <49.99

Vineyard Selection Malbec 2012

Riccitelli Wines

TROPHYCategory: malbec

       >50.00

Republica del Malbec – Blend de Terroirs 2012

Riccitelli Wines

RED BLENDS
TROPHY Category: red blend

       >13.00 <19.99Paz Blend 2012

Finca Las Moras

TROPHYCategory: red blend

       >30.00 <49.99Field Blend 2011

Zorzal Wines

TROPHYCategory: red blend

       >50.00

Decero Amano, Remolinos Vineyard 2011

Finca Decero

For the 1st time, there was presentation of a special Trophy for each of Argentina’s main regions – the North, San Juan, Mendoza and Patagonia – with the aim of bestowing an even stronger federal quality on the event and bringing in wineries from all over the country.

The winners of this new category were:

North Valleys – Serie Fincas Notables Malbec 2011, Bodega El Esteco 

San Juan Valleys – Paz Blend 2012, Finca Las Moras

Mendoza Valleys – Lindaflor Malbec 2009, Monteviejo

Patagonian Valleys – Fin Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2010, Bodega del Fin Del Mundo

 # # #

About the Argentina Wine Awards

The 8th edition of the AWA took place in Mendoza from February 16 to 21, 2014. This year, the emphasis was placed on working with experienced, world-renowned wine figures from each market, in order to strengthen Argentina’s positioning in such markets as well as to promote the quality of Argentine wines and the variety of the country’s styles and terroirs through these knowledgeable experts. In this way, Wines of Argentina continues to work for the development of the image of Argentine wine on the global stage.

 About Wines of Argentina

Wines of Argentina is the organization responsible for promoting the brand VINO ARGENTINO around the world. Since 1993, WofA has promoted the image of local wines abroad, in addition to guiding the export strategy of Argentine wineries through careful study and analysis of the changes taking place in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers.

 About the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR): 

The Argentine Wine Corporation manages and articulates the activities required in order to achieve the goals stated in the 2020 Strategic Wine Plan, taking up the challenge of transforming the wine sector and strategically boosting its strengths and opportunities in the global market of wine, concentrated grape juice, raisins, and table grapes. The Strategic Plan has been designed to add value to the industry by the organization and integration of all the stakeholders along the chain, with a view to producing higher quality wines, and achieving greater consistency across all segments and products. www.coviar.com.ar Facebook: Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR)  Twitter: @Coviar1

Want to Try More Wines from Argentina? Here’s How.

Celebrate Argentina Wines 2009There are some free tastings of Argentinean wine for those of us that live in the Vancouver, BC lower mainland.   I’m sure there will be Malbecs and Torrontes, but maybe some new ones for you, such as Bonarda, Syrah, or Pinot Grigio from Argentina.

There are 3 tastings coming up at the BCLDB flagship 39th & Cambie liquor store:

  • Friday October 4th, 2:30 – 6:30 PM
  • Saturday October 5th, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday October 10th, 2:30 – 6:30 PM

These are casual tastings –drop by and enjoy several wines, accompanied with traditional empanadas from Panaderia Latina Bakery (that’s located 1 block north of Joyce skytrain station BTW).

You may also want to read about my latest Argentine wine picks from the Celebrate Argentina event last week.  Here is the link to my Argentina wine picks. Enjoy!

Get into the Festive Spirit with a Wine Dinner at Wild Rice New Westminster

Wild Rice logoWild Rice opened their New Westminster location this past year.  The main location being located at the edge of Chinatown.  I like Wild Rice with their fusion of Asian and European cuisine.  I received this Press Release about their upcoming 5 course wine pairing dinner at their New West location and was very happy to see the high quality of wines they selected from BC and around the world.

Take the skytrain to the New Westminster station and walk across the street to the New West Quay, where you will find Wild Rice, and a great dinner.  Enjoy!

~~~

Executive Chef Todd Bright and Sommelier Andrew Switzer have collaborated to create a stunning five-course wine pairing dinner to kick-off the festive season.

The dinner will be held at the New Westminster location on December 5th starting at 6:30 p.m. and is priced at $75 per person.  Reservations are essential. Please contact caroline@wildricebc.ca to book your seat.

MENU
Tea smoked qualicum scallop, fresh peas and bacon foam
Stift Gottweig Gruner Veltliner (Austria, 2010)
Urban Torrontes (Argentina, 2010)
***
BC spot prawn dumplings in charred onion consommé
Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand, 2010
LaStella Leggerio un-oaked Chardonnay – BC, 2010
***
Sesame crusted steelhead, squid, roasted cauliflower puree and yuzu buerre blanc
Le Vieux Pin Petit Blanc  – BC, 2009
(blend of oaked and unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussane)
Botani dry muscato – Spain, 2010
***
Crispy roast pork belly, green onion soubise and pickled apple
Rustico Pinot Noir – BC, 2007
(new world but old world Burgundian style pinot)
Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza – Spain, 2007
(one of the top Rioja estates in Spain)
***

Petit fours plate
                Red Bean and White Chocolate Macaroon, Salted Caramel Chocolate
and Raspberry Mousse
              Paradise Ranch Late Harvest Chardonnay – BC,  2008

Wild Rice Modern Chinese New Westminster Location

810 Quayside Drive
in The River Market
778-397-0028
newwest@wildricebc.ca

Free Wines of Argentina Featured in October at BC Liquor Stores

Argentina has been producing high quality Malbecs, which we are all familiar with, but there is more to Argentina than Malbec.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Torrontes, Carmenere and even Riesling are being produced.  Time to try these other wines, in addition to Malbec.  Your chance to try some Argentine wines for free, is through the BC Liquor Stores in October.  The dates and announcement are below.  In addition, you have a chance to wine a prize package to Victoria’s Oak Bay Beach Hotel.  Enjoy!

~~~

September 18, 2012 (Vancouver, BC) –Get ready to celebrate the wines of Argentina!  This October the BCLDB will host three FREE wine and food consumer events at BC Liquor Stores.  Each of the “Argentine Treasures” tastings will feature a different selection of quality wines paired with empanadas from Panaderia Latina Bakery.  In conjunction with this promotion, Wines of Argentina will also hold a draw for a luxurious prize package featuring Victoria’s Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

Argentina is one of the hottest categories on BC shelves, and the free tastings are a great way to become familiar with the amazing diversity of excellent wines produced by the South American country.

As part of the month-long celebration, Wines of Argentina is giving away a deluxe prize package including the following:

  • 2 nights’ accommodation for two in a Panoramic Ocean View Boutique Suite at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel
  • Boathouse Spa & Baths – hour-long Classic Massage (one per person)
  • Access to the Seaside Therapeutic Mineral Baths, Steam Room & Fitness Centre
  • Complimentary Valet Parking

This prize package is valued at $1,150.  You can enter online at www.winesofargentina.ca

 

Argentine Treasures Free Consumer Tastings

Saturday, October 6
Cambie Signature Store, Vancouver
2:00-6:00pm

Thursday, October 11
Alberni & Bute Signature Store, Vancouver
3:00-7:00pm

 

Friday, October 12
Park Royal Signature Store, West Vancouver
3:00-7:00pm

#     #     #

About Wines of Argentina: Wines of Argentina is responsible for the promotion of the brand VINO ARGENTINO around the world. Since 1993, this organization has been promoting the image of local wines abroad and providing advice on export strategies for Argentina by studying and analyzing trends in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers. www.winesofargentina.ca

 

About the Oak Bay Beach Hotel:  The new Oak Bay Beach Hotel is being completely rebuilt on the same spectacular oceanfront lot where the previous hotel sat for more than 80 years. It will reopen in October 2012 as a 100-room hotel with 20 luxury residences. Built to five-star standards, hotel and residential amenities include seaside mineral pools, a fitness centre, Boathouse Spa & Baths, The Snug pub, the David Foster Foundation Theatre and a fine-dining restaurant. Not only is this Victoria’s first combination full-service luxury hotel and private residence, but it is also the only commercial waterfront development in Oak Bay. www.oakbaybeachhotel.com

Latest IVSA Wine Picks – March 2012 Trebbiano and More

I’m a bit tardy with this blog article about the latest Import Vintners and Spirits Association (IVSA) trade tasting, with many other work and non-work events happening at this time. Going back to my notes, I found a few good new wines to the BC marketplace. One thing I noticed was there was more Torrontes and Trebbiano at this trade tasting than at other tastings. This could be in part due to the time of year with the white wines being released.  With that, let’s get into my latest wine picks.

White Wines

  • Callia Alta Torrontes 2011

    Callia Alta Torrontes 2011, Argentina (spec $13.95). Medium lemony green in colour.  Very fruity, tropical fruit and flowers on the nose. Medium body with tropical fruit, citrus and oranges in particular flavours.  Nice acidity and some spiciness.  Dry with medium plus length.  This is more complex than most Torrontes.

  • Zenato Lugara DOC San Benedetto Trebbiano, Italy. Pale lemon in the glass.  Nice nose with citrus, apples and a hint of oranges. Light body with citrus and slight sweet spice / nutmeg flavour. Dry. Very nice.
  • Thelema Mountain Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010, South Africa. Thelema is a quality producer from South Africa.  This wine had a wow nose.  Lots of gooseberries.  High acidity with green bean, gooseberry and grapefruit peel flavours.  Some spiciness on the mid-palate.  Short length (wish it was a bit longer).
  • Vouvrey Grandes Caves Saint Roch – Demi Sec 2010, France.  This was my overall favourite wine of the tasting.  It is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Delicate light crab apple and citrus aromas. Medium minus body mouthfeel yet acts like it is a bigger wine.  Apples and citrus flavours.  Quite round with a good acidic backbone.
  • Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2007, New Zealand. Medium lemon colour. Citrus and tropical fruit on the nose with a touch of oak.  Medium minus body, mineral, citrus, and apple flavours.  Dry with medium acidity. Medium length with a waxy finish.  An interesting wine.
  • Kiwi Walk Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand. Pale lemony green in the glass.  Lots of herbal and cut green grass on the nose.  High acidity on the palate with lots of gooseberry flavour and some jalapeno pepper flavour mid palate.
  • Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon 2008, France. Another Chenin Blanc from the Loire. Deeper golden colour. Nutty, peachy nose. Medium body, round with medium acidity.  Peach pit, citrus and some spice on the palate.  Very interesting.

Red Wines

  • Cameron Hughes Lot 300 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

    Cameron Hughes Lot 300 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa Valley. Medium translucent ruby colour.  Nice ripe berry nose.  Elegant and not overpowering. Lighter body with cassis and dark fruit flavours.  High acidity, low tannins and long length.  A quality wine.

  • Gorcleyant Malbec 2010, France. Medium ruby colour. Nice bright red fruit nose.  Lighter bodied, soft tannins and juicy red fruit flavour.  A hint of vanilla and spice too.
  • Masi Modello Rosso 2010, Italy. Light ruby colour.  Nice nose with closes and red fruits.  Light body, dry, with soft tannins. Red fruit, oak and cloves on the palate. Good price $12.99.

Sparkling and Fortified Wines

  • Niepoort LBV 2005, Portugal. This is a Late Bottled Vintage port.  This one is medium ruby in colour.  Light aromas of cherries and apples.  Light body, medium sweetness, but quite spicy on the palate.  Flavours of plums, dark cherries and some vanilla.
  • Zinck Cremant Brut D’Alsace, France. Light straw colour with small light bubbles. Nice aromas of red delicious apples and some lees.  Light body, high acidity, with more red delicious apples on the palate.  Dry.  Tasty.

More Winery Picks at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Fest 2012

las perdices Reserva Bonarda 2008

Day 2 is over for me at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. I spent a portion of my time finishing off some Chilean wineries (and interviewing a few wine makers) but the majority of the time was trying the other wineries’ wines at the Festival. If you are attending tomorrow’s tasting, here are some wines that you may want to try. Tasting notes will follow after the Festival is over.

  • Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Argentina
  • Amalaya Gran Corta 2010, Argentina
  • Finca Flichman Expresiones Malbec / Cabenet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina
  • O. Fournier Alfa Crux Malbec 2008, Argentina
  • Las Perdices Reserva Bonarda 2008, Argentina (I really like this wine.  Try it if you can!)
  • El Porvenir de Los Andes Laborum Torrontes 2011, Argentina
  • El Porvenir de Los Andes Laborum Malbec 2011, Argentina
  • Delas Freres Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette 2009, France
  • Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-pape Cuvee Barberini 2005, France
  • Damilano Nebbiolo d’Alba 2009, Italy
  • Damilano Barolo “Lecinquevigne” DOCG 2006, Italy
  • Quinta dos Roques Quinta do Correio red wine 2009, Portugal (very interesting indigenous grapes used)
  • Quinta dos Roques Red 2009, Portugal
  • Quinta dos Roques Reserva 2007, Portugal
  • Lammershoek Winery Pinotage 2007, South Africa
  • J. Lohr Vineyards Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, California
  • Trefethen Family Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California
  • Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah 2009, California
  • Iber Wine, Casa Jus Antiguos Vinedos Tempranillo 2006, Spain
  • Domecq Bodegas Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2003, Spain

Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

There are many more wines and wineries that I did not have a chance to try.  Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were not able to get my attention, but there are many good wines from there too.  I hope you enjoy some of my latest wine picks!

There are also a few more Chilean wines for the list that I tried today:

  • Vina Caliterra Cenit 2008
  • Carmen Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
  • Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
  • Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2008
  • Miguel Torres Santa Digna Fair Trade Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
  • Miguel Torres Conde de Superunda 2005
  • Vina San Pedro Cabo de Hornos 2007

Enjoy!  I also love to hear what you liked at the Festival.  Leave a comment please with your favourites.

Almost Last Minute Christmas Holiday Wine Picks 2011

There are less than 2 weeks to Christmas now. Maybe you are starting to think about Christmas gifts, or inviting family and friends over to your place for a nice dinner, or you received a dinner invitation? What wines to gift or serve?

I went through the list of all the wines I tasted in 2011 and have a few suggestions for you.

Some Favourite Sparkling Wines for 2011

  • Oyster Bay Brut and Rose sparkling wines

    Perrier Jouet Grand Brut N/V, France. This is also a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Pale lemon in colour.  Light lees and toast on the nose. Light body with apples and white fruit.  Small bubbles with lower acidity.  I really enjoyed this one in part due to the lower acidity which made this Champagne very easy to drink on its own.

  • Bastianich Flor Prosecco, Italy ($19.99).  A delightful wine with melon and lychee aromas. Off dry, light body, with cinnamon, citrus and peach flavours.  Small bubble.  This is such a fun wine. Start a party with this wine.
  • Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select NV, France ($62.99). This Champagne is a blend of 2/3 PinotNoir and Pinot Meunier (both red grapes), and 1/3 Chardonnay. Light lemon in colour.  Nice medium toasty nose.  Medium acidity and body.  Citrus, some spice and toasty flavours on the palate.
  • Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut N/V, New Zealand ($24.99). I was really surprised by this wine.  It won me over with it’s fresh fruit flavours. Light citrus and stone fruit on the nose.  Lots of flavour in your mouth with citrus, lime, kiwi fruit, and herbal flavours. Small bubble with medium acidity.
  • Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blanc, 2008, California. Light lemon colour.  Vanilla and spice on the nose.  High acid with small bubbles.  Lemons and green apples greet your tongue. A very nice, elegant dry sparkling wine.

Some Favourite White Wines for 2011

  • Stags Hollow Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc 2010

    Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2009, California.  This is a single vineyard wine.  Medium lemon in colour with tropical fruit and some toasty aromas. Medium body and very soft mouth feel (really silky). Some vanilla and tropical fruit flavours.  Really nice.

  • Waterstone Chardonnay, 2009, California. This is my favourite white wine of the night.  Not a typical Napa Chardonnay.  This wine had a medium pear colour.  Vanilla and bartlett pear aromas. Medium body, soft and round mouthfeel.  Cinnamon and tropical fruit flavours with light acidity.  Nice and fruity, some vanilla with a long dry finish.
  • Stags Hollow Viognier 2010, BC. One of my favourite wines of the tasting. This Viognier was pale in colour with some sweetness, orange, and flower aromas. Very pretty. Tropical fruit and cinnamon flavours.  Medium body.
  • Tantalus Vineyards Riesling 2010, BC. Their Riesling is always on my favourite list. This one is no exception.  It has light lemon, lychee and flowers on the nose.  Off dry, with high acidity to make your mouth water for more.  Red apples and lemon flavours.  Excitement in a glass.
  • Thornhaven Estates Winery Pinot Gris 2010, BC. I think there is something specific about the terroir for this wine that makes this Pinot Gris have a wonderful grapefruit nose and flavour.  I haven’t seen this in other Okanagan Pinot Gris. Pale lemon in colour with red grapefruit nose. Flowery with citrus, grapefruit flavours. Yum.
  • Graffigna Grand Reserve Torrontes 2010 (Argentina). Torrontes is the signature white grape of Argentina.  Very aromatic and a good change from Gewurztraimer or Viognier. Light lemon coloured. Lychee and perfumy nose.  Light body, round, with medium acidity.  Lychee, apricot and cinnamon flavours. Very tasty with a long spicy finish.
  • Pfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2007 (France). I love Alsatian wines, and was really looking forward to Pfaffenheim’s wines. Medium lemon colour.  Wonderful lychee nose with a slight touch of sweet spice. Full body. Off dry with lower acidity.  Round mouthfeel with lychee, apricot and flowery flavours.  Very nice.

Some Favourite Red Wines for 2011

  • Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005

    Kim Crawford Small Parcel “The-Rise-and-Shine” Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007, New Zealand. Central Otago, is inland in the South Island.  The cooler climate allows these grapes have a long hang time and smaller berries, which gives a higher skin to pulp ratio, and more intense, riper, fruit flavours.  Medium purple in the glass with ripe purple fruit and vanilla aromas.  Ripe fruit, cassis, plums and vanilla on the palate.  Medium body and medium length.  Very nice.

  • Vina Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005, Chile. Pehuen Carmenere is a premium wine from Vina Santa Rita.  Opaque purple in the glass. Dark fruit nose with a whiff of capsicum. Full bodied but with soft tannins.  Ripe black cherries, vanilla and spice on the palate.  A very long length.  Here is a Carmenere you should try.
  • Dusted Valley Grenache, Columbia Valley 2009, Washington. This was such a wonderful wine.  Just the right balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity.  The wine was medium garnet in colour.  Cherry, vanilla and smoky aromas.  Raspberry, cherry, and vanilla on the palate.  Medium bodied with a raspberry finish.
  • 1884 Reservado Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina ($16.99).  This was my red wine deal of the wine tasting. Drink now. Raspberry and cocoa on the nose.  Full body with full ripe cherries and raspberries.  Juicy!  Long finish.
  • Desert Hills Syrah 2007, BC.  Another one of my favourites of the tasting. Almost opaque ruby in colour. Smoky, meaty, and dark fruit nose. Full body, dry tannins, with dark fruit spice and vanilla flavours.  Enjoy this big wine with a nice roast over the winter.
  • Ogier Crozes Hermitage, Les Brunnelles 2008, France ($25.99). This is a Rhone Valley wine. The Rhone Valley produces some fabulous Syrah, and this is one of them. I really liked the aromas of this wine of cassis and plums. Full body with cassis, raspberry, cherry and oak flavours.  Low tannins helped make this wine very approachable.
  • Finca Las Moras Intis Malbec 2010, Argentina. This wine was the surprise wine of the evening.  It is priced at $8.99, and over delivers. Pale ruby colour.  Light aromas of grilled sausage and dark fruit. Medium plus body with medium acidity.  Vanilla, cherry, raspberry and sausage flavours all together. Lots of nice flavours.  Dry with soft tannins.

Some Favourite Fortified Wines

  • Sogrape Vinhos Ferreira 20-Year-Old Duque de Braganca (Portugal). Light tawny colour in the glass. Ripe sweet fruit and Malmsey Madeira nose.  Round mouthfeel, medium sweetness. Apples, plums, chocolate and spice. Nice.
  • Fonseca N/V Terra Prima Organic Port ($31.99).  Rich black fruit nose.  Medium body in your mouth.  Spicy with plums, cherries, and chocolate flavours.  Medium sweetness. Very nice.
  • Mount Baker Vineyards Late Harvest Viognier 2007, Washington (US$20 for a half bottle). Deep lemon in colour.  Pretty nose with peaches, oranges and honey. Unctus in your mouth. Sweet with honey, honeydew melon, and peach flavours. Good acidity to balance this wine. A wonderful wine. Highly recommended to top off a nice meal with family or friends.
  • Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal ($63.99).  A tawny port is aged in wooden barrels, which exposes the wine to oxygen causing oxidation. As a result, these wines  gradually turn to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen also imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine. This wine had caramel and roses aromas in the glass.  Amazing flavour with sweet spices, nuttiness and butterscotch.  Sweet but dry with a long length.  I REALLY liked this wine.

There are many more in my archives, so please check there as well for a specific varietal or style. www.mywinepal.com and of course the blog right here!  Cheers and Happy Holidays to all my friends, near and far.

Discover the Wines of Argentina Tasting – My Picks

Did you know that Argentina’s history of wine making dates back to the 16th century, and with this 300 years of wine making experience are still viewed as New World wine making? Most of the wine was for internal consumption, but in the last 20 years Argentina’s wine exports have continued to grow. Today many people talk about Malbec wine from Argentina as being a favourite red. Argentina’s signature red grape, Malbec surely has made it’s name around the world. Originally a Bordeaux blending grape, this grape has found the perfect place in the world to express itself in Mendoza, Argentina. Hot days from the high elevation and cool nights from the Andes Mountains helping the grapes reach full fruit maturity without losing it’s acidity.

On September 29, 2011, The Wines of Argentina hosted a tasting of some of their wines here in Vancouver at the Sutton Place Hotel.  I tasted as many red, white, and sparkling wines as I could for you, and here are my top picks.

Malbecs

Santa Ana Homage Malbec 2010

Let’s start with the Malbecs as most people attending did so just because of the range of Malbecs that they can try.

  • Bodega Luigi Bosca / Familia Arizu Reserva Malbec 2008. Medium ruby in colour with coffee and cherries on the nose.  More coffee and cherries on the palate along with vanilla and some smokiness. Medium acidity and soft tannins.
  • Bodega Septima Dia Malbec 2009. Medium ruby.  Ripe cherries and vanilla aromas.  Medium body with soft mouthfeel. Ripe cherries and apple flavours with a very dry finish.
  • Bodegas Santa Ana Homage Malbec 2010. This is my overall favourite red wine of the night!  Light ruby in the glass.  Interesting nose with citrus, cloves, cherry and vanilla. Very fruity with cherry and cloves on the palate.  Round full bodied with long length.
  • Finca La Chamiza Polo Amateur Malbec 2011. This is still quite a young winery, being founded in 2003, but producing some very nice wines already. This wine was pale ruby  in colour with a smoky raspberry nose. Light body with more smoke and raspberry flavour.  An easy to drink Malbec on it’s own.
  • Finca La Chamiza Legend of Polo Malbec 2009. This is their top Malbec and it shows.  This wine has a medium ruby colour, darker than the Polo Amateur.  Smoky dark fruit nose.  Very full flavoured with vanilla, cherries and smoke.  Medium tannins that help support the fruit and give the wine nice structure.
  • Finca Las Moras Intis Malbec 2010. This wine was the surprise wine of the evening.  It is priced at $8.99, and over delivers. Pale ruby colour.  Light aromas of grilled sausage and dark fruit. Medium plus body with medium acidity.  Vanilla, cherry, raspberry and sausage flavours all together. Lots of nice flavours.  Dry with soft tannins.
  • Finca Las Moras Reserva Malbec 2007. Medium ruby in the glass with a nice smoky nose. Very fruity and full bodied.  Some smokiness also on the palate.  Soft mouthfeel.

Torrontes

Torrontes is the other signature grape of Argentina.  This one is a white grape, and quite aromatic.  If you like Viognier or Gewurztraminer, you should like, and try, Torrontes.

  • Trivento Amado Sur Torrontes Viognier Chardonnay blend 2010

    Bodega Vistalba Tomero Torrontes 2010. This was my favourite Torrontes of the evening. Medium lemon in colour . Nice herbal, lemon and floweriness on the nose. Lots of flavour of citrus and pine needles.  Medium body with medium length. Top quality.

  • Makia Torrontes 2011. The Makia winery combines Italian know-how and wine making style with the terroir of the Uco Valley in Argentina. The Torrontes was different from other Torrontes I have tasted.  It was pale lemon in the glass with an orangy nose.  Round and very fruity. Tropical fruit.  Light acidity.
  • Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos Amado Sur Torrontes/Viognier/Chardonnay 2010. This wine is a blend with 75% of the wine being made from the Torrontes grape and 15% with another aromatic grape, Viognier, and the remaining 10% with Chardonnay. This was an exciting and refreshing wine for me.  Light flower and tropical fruit nose.  High acidity and medium minus body.  Citrus and slight herbal flavours. In another article I covered the Amado Sur Malbec/Bonarda/Syrah, which I also quite liked. Read it here.
  • Vina Las Perdices Torrontes 2011. Pale lemon in colour.  Very flowery nose.  Light body with a round mouth feel.  Flowers, citrus, spice upfront, with herbal mid palate.  This is an easy sipper.

Anything But Torrontes (or Malbec)

  • Urraca Chardonnay 2009 on ice

    Vinedos Urraca Chardonnay 2009. This is a very elegant wine that reminds you of a French Mersault. This wine is barrel aged but the oak does not overpower the wine.  Medium lemon in colour.  Nice tropical fruit and vanilla on the nose.  Medium plus body with citrus, spice and vanilla flavours.  Well balanced with a long finish.

  • Bodega Vistalba Tomero Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Light ruby in colour.  Dark chocolate, leather and earthiness on the nose. Vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee and cherry flavours.  Dry with a light body and medium length.  Not all Cabs have to be heavy, extracted wines.  This one is lighter bodied and is a pleasure to drink.
  • Finca Las Moras Reserva Tannat 2008. Tannat is grape that you more associate with France or Uruguay.  But Finca Las Moras has produced a very nice Tannat. Deep garnet in the glass.  Light nose with aromas of dark fruit and vanilla.  Full body with lots of vanilla and kirsch cherry flavours.  Dry with medium tannins and medium length.
  • Mapema Sauvignon Blanc 2010. I was told that the wine maker for Mapema is Sr. Pepe Galante, who was previously a wine maker at Catena. This wine was watery lemon in colour. Herbal nose.  Light body with medium acidity, but still had a round mouth feel.  Light herbal, tropical fruit and lime flavours.  Nice.
  • Pascual Toso Brut NV. This is a non-vintage sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Light lemon in the glass. Light oak, citrus and honey aromas.  High acidity, small bubble, lots of citrus and a bit of oak on the palate.

Sometimes tasting  a flight of wines at one time helps you gain appreciation for a varietal or a blended wine, as well as a style. If you are interested in having a wine tasting party at your home, please consider contacting MyWinePal.  Enjoy!

Time to Discover the Wines of Argentina

With the fall and winter coming up, our thoughts start moving toward heartier foods and full-bodied red wines.  Coming up on September29 you will get a chance to try some big Malbecs, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and more at the Discover Wines of Argentina tasting here in Vancouver.  If white wines are more your style, you will probably be delighted by Argentina’s signature white grape, Torrontes, or other great white wines, like Chardonnay produced from high-altitude Mendoza or Salta.  Below is the full tasting announcement. Get your tickets before they sell out!

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Taste Wines of Argentina

On Thursday, September 29 2011, Wines of Argentina will host a tasting to showcase the quality and variety of wines the country produces. Held at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel, the event will feature bottles from over 24 wineries.

The world’s fifth largest wine producer, Argentina has developed a reputation for creating approachable and food-friendly wines.  The evening will be an enjoyable way to learn about what the country offers consumers who are looking for value but don’t want to sacrifice taste.

Wines of Argentina Consumer Tasting

Thursday, September 29, 2011
7:00 – 9:30pm

Sutton Place Hotel
845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tickets $44 per person available at www.winesofargentina.ca

Special Group Discount

A special offer for groups of 10 or more people.  Tickets are $40/person. That is a $4 discount per ticket.  If you would like to take advantage of this special group pricing, please email danalee.harris@shaw.ca 

The event will benefit the BC Hospitality Foundation’s Tip Out To Help campaign.

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About The BC Hospitality Foundation’s Tip Out To Help Campaign: 

October is Tip Out To Help Month:  B.C. Hospitality Foundation is starting a fundraising program this October.  Called Tip Out To Help, the program encourages members of the hospitality industry to raise funds however they please and donate them to BCHF to help their colleagues in need.  Some examples of easy fundraising ideas are staff donating a toonie per shift, management donating a percentage of sales, and/or team fundraisers.  Every toonie helps. We hope you’ll join the movement and register a team at www.tipouttohelp.com

Free Argentinean Wine Tasting at 39th and Cambie Liquor store

Image courtesy Gary J. Wood

Do you like wines from Argentina, or are you interested to find out what Argentina has to offer?  Try some Malbec, Torrontes, and I’m sure many other wines at this upcoming FREE wine tasting.  Here is the note that I received about the tasting, and I am passing it along to you.  Enjoy!

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Wines of Argentina Featured at FREE 39th & Cambie LDB Signature Store Events

For Immediate Release

June 28, 2011 (Vancouver, BC) – On Thursday July 7th and Friday July 8th, consumers can attend two FREE tastings at the 39th & Cambie LDB Signature Store offering samples of Argentinean wines paired with authentic South American cuisine.  Throughout the month, consumers can also enter to win an amazing prize package of two nights’ accommodation at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort Hotel and Spa including breakfast each morning.

Held from 3 – 6:30 pm each day, the consumer tastings offer guests samples of top Argentinean wines paired with tasty empanadas from House of Empanadas.  The events will also include a sizzling tango dance demonstration.

In conjunction with the month-long promotion of Argentinean wines at the BCLDB, Wines of Argentina is also offering a deluxe prize package.  The prize includes two nights’ accommodation at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort Hotel and Spa, with a visit to the spa and dinner for two at LURE Restaurant and Lounge.  Wines of Argentina will provide limousine service to and from the dinner.  To enter the draw, please visit www.winesofargentina.ca.

 

Wines of Argentina Consumer Tastings

Thursday, July 7 & Friday, July 8, 2011, 3 – 6:30 pm

39th & Cambie LDB Signature Liquor

5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver