It was just this past March that we visited Argentina and this wine tasting event at the Regency Center in San Francisco brought back many memories of our wonderful trip. We quickly found the Tapiz table where we were surprised to see none other than the owner of the winery, Patricia Ortiz, pouring her wines. She mentioned that she had read our blog about our stay at her wine lodge, the Club Tapiz, and our visit to the Tapiz winery. Her warmth and friendliness is so typical of the Argentine people.
To us, the Malbec wines of Argentina are easy-drinking wines and I am convinced that it must be very difficult to make a bad Malbec in Mendoza. I can also say the same for Malbec RosÃ©s and the white, fragrant Torrontes wine from the Salta region. We don’t see too many of the RosÃ© wines in the U.S. but I can guarantee that you will like these more than any domestic RosÃ© wines. One thing that surprised us at this tasting was the number of wineries producing other varietals. We tasted Chardonnay, Viognier, Char/Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Syrah, Cabernet, Bonarda, and even a little Pinot Noir.
Highlights and Discoveries
Argento winery overall had the best value of the wines we tasted. They were all very well made and range in price from $12 to $15 in the U.S. Two of their wines that were very impressive were the Reserve Torrontes and the Bonarda. This was our favorite Torrontes of the tasting, with great floral characteristics. It retails in the U.S for $15. If you see it, buy it; summer is over but this wine is a great cocktail wine anytime of the year. Several wineries were pouring Bonarda, a wine we had not tasted previously. This wine has been used mostly in bulk wines for domestic use. Now it is becoming a very popular varietal and one like Malbec, that goes well with food and is easy to drink and savor. The Argento Bonarda was delicious and it sells in the U.S for a whopping $12.
At the Vina Cobos table I enjoyed the Chardonnay wines and the reds. I found out that the renowned Paul Hobbs is part owner and of course the pre-eminent consulting winemaker for these wines. Price ranges from $19 to $80 for the Malbec. The Bramere Lujan de Cuyo Cabernet was outstanding and sells for $35.
At Espiritu de Argentina, the winemaker was pouring an excellent barrel-fermented Chardonnay and a delicious Torrontes and Malbec; prices range from $10 to $15. What a deal!
Perhaps the best overall table of the day was Pasquel Toso. I know this winery because the 2006 Malbec was a fantastic bargain at Costco and the Cabernet at KL Wines. Costco has the 2008 Malbec, although not as good as the 06, but still an amazing bargain at $9. The very best wine of the day was the Pasquel Toso Alta Reserva 2007 Malbec. It is not in the U.S. as yet but it will be here soon. This wine will sell for $35 and I doubt you will find a better value anywhere. This wine is fantastic.
Overall, we can honestly say we did not taste anything but well-made wines at this tasting. We will be on the prowl at our local wine shops to find some of these great wines. We encourage you to do the same; find and discover the wines of Argentina.