POSTED ON April 15, 2009 | IN Argentina, Chile, Wine Information | BY Joe Becerra

We have been back from our wine trip to Argentina and Chile two weeks but it seems that our wine palates are still in the mode for Argentine and Chilean wines. We tried a couple of Sonoma Zinfandels and a Sonoma Syrah and it was remarkable how spicy and peppery these wines tasted compared to the Argentine and Chilean wines we had been tasting on the tour.

Last week we shopped at Trader Joe’s, Costco, BevMo and Weimax in Burlingame in search of more Argentine and Chilean wines. We purchase several different labels and had to opportunity to try some with guests over the weekend. All of the wines we purchased were under $16. The big winners were the 2005 Montes Syrah at Costco for $15.99 and the 2007 Doña Paula Malbec for $9.99, also at Costco. These are both terrific wines and we are not the only ones to think so. The Wine Spectator gives the Montes Syrah 91 points and Parker gives the Doña Paula a 90-point rating. We also like the clean and fresh taste of the Tapiz Chardonnay that we picked up at the BevMo 5-cent sale for less than nine bucks. I see the price is now $11.99 now that the sale is over.

Montes Winery

Montes Winery

After touting Argentine and Chilean wines these past few weeks, it is always nice to have some affirmation about our recommendations. In today’s Decanter Online, I read an article entitled Sales of Napa Valley red wines come to a screeching halt. The article explains how the economy is affecting the sale of wines worldwide. The article points out that Argentine wine are “are showing remarkable strength in the teeth of the recession.”The reason why, Decanter explains, is because of the very reasonable prices of the Argentine wines compared to their high quality. That Montes Syrah we tasted is just as good as any of our favorite California Syrahs that cost well above the $30 level.

This weekend, we are off to two of are favorite Russian River Wineries. We shall see if we can get our palates adjusted to enjoying some of the wines that have been our long-time favorites. We will report back next week on our adventure to Montemaggiore and Hawley wineries in the Dry Creek Valley.