2019 Altosur Sauvignon Blanc, Mendoza, Argentina (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO Vintages $16.95 (750ml bottle)
This terrific example of high-altitude Sauvignon Blanc knocked me for six last week. Perhaps leaning more into Styrian territory than the more reconizable Marlborough Sauvignon classic style, I found this wine to be one of my favourite aromatic whites in quite some time.
Hailing from the Gualtallary, Tupungato sub-zone, and grown at around 1,219 metres, this wine by acclaimed Argentinian producer Finca Sophenia is a real olfactory and gustatory delight reminiscent of the my beloved Alpine-influenced bottlings, but here in Argentina we are talking about the mighty Andes, obviously, and what an impact they have on the wines.
The sandy/stony alluvial soils combined with the region’s cool weather lead to some serious slow-ripening of the fruit, gifting the wines a mineral-led freshness that is like a thread from bouquet all the way through to an immensely satisfyingly savoury finish.
While I found the gorgeous nose to be generous, it still showed a certain amount of reserve with lime, greengage, and for me that telltale sign of high-altitude whites, fines herbes and minerals. That slow-ripening certainly showed up in the palate, which was crisp and floral with a core of rich, ripe green plum and guava, and perhaps just a hint of gooseberry. The finish was perfection, with extended flavour memories of floral, mineral, and those aforementioned fines herbes. Wonderful.
This absolute bargain of a Sauvignon Blanc is simply a must try throughout the summer of 2021, and at $16.95 I really don’t think that you’ll be disappointed, as this punches way above its weight.
(Four apples out of a possible five)
Edinburgh-born/Ontario-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, educator, and dad, Jamie Drummond is the Director/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’ll have more of that, thank you very much.