Another journey south of the Equator, readers. This time, the other side of the Andes is our destination -- the world's fifth largest wine producer,
The history of Argentinean wine closely mirrors that of its neighbor,
Until the late 1980's,
A few tasty selections:
San Felipe 2005 Chardonnay -- The label inscription states: "A perfect balance of lush fruit and soft spice" -- and the flavor comes close to following suit. The nose is a combination of flowers and green apples. The initial taste lives up to the "spicy" promise, almost peppery, but that fades quickly. The mid-taste is quite tart for a chardonnay, and the promise of fruit certainly is there. If it were lighter in body, I'd almost think this wine could have been one of those Chilean sauvignons that I hit before. There's a very nice round citrus flavor. The finish is, again, spicy -- cloves maybe. This is certainly not a complex chardonnay by any stretch, but for $6-7 a bottle, it's certainly a very nice, interesting white. With chicken or shrimp, it'd be quite good, and a gazpacho or other cold soup would go wonderfully with this.
Pascual Toso 2004 Malbec -- Malbec! Malbec! Malbec! I can't state enough what a great varietal I think this is, especially if you're going to be doing anything on the grill. I touched on the Altos in my first column, and I thought I'd compare it to the same varietal from a different winery. The nose of this particular malbec hits you with a raspberry and pepper scent, but with slightly less aroma than the Altos. The mouthfeel of this, however, is richer than the Altos -- with smooth, rich raspberry and vanilla flavors. The finish has a little bit of pepper, but a lighter tannin than the Altos, making it a fantastic wine to pair with a big steak (like the New York strip, lightly marinated in soy sauce and thyme with a side of grilled asparagus I did with this one). You'll find this for $8-10, and it's well worth it. There's also a reserve Pascual Toso malbec, which I've heard really good things about. Long and short -- if you find a malbec that says it's grown in "
Funky Llama 2004
A side note: sorry for the publication delay this time around. I just got back from a wonderful vacation in
Until next time: Saude!