2019 Susana Balbo “Signature Rosé”, Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Argentina (Alcohol 12.2%, Residual Sugar 2 g/L) LCBO Vintages $22.95 (750ml bottle)
Certainly one of the most impressively elegant and structured Argentinian rosés I have ever tasted, this is a beautifully put together blend of Malbec (60%) and Pinot Noir (40%) with an beautifully expressive nose of red berries (strawberries and cherries), with hints of floral Turkish delight. The palate is crisp and clean, and has the most persistent and pleasantly pithy finish. Unfortunately I fear this gorgeous wine may have now sold out, but do keep an eye out for the next release!
For the record, I was going to give her excellent Signature White Blend a very healthy four apples out of five, but it appears that this has also sold through. Sorry.
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)
2017 El Enemigo Chardonnay, Gualtellary, Tupungato, Valle de Uco, Argentina (Alcohol 14.3%, Residual Sugar 3 g/L) LCBO Vintages $23.95 (750ml bottles)
There’s nothing in the slightest bit shy or reserved about this undeniably powerful Chardonnay, but that’s in no way a bad thing, as there’s a hell of a lot to love about this full-bodied bottling. While I don’t think that this wine is for everyone, is certainly something I would suggest for those with more adventurous palates. For the record, it’s a wild ferment and is aged for nine months in 500 litre French barrels under Flor (think of Jura).
The bouquet is so bloody complex, beautifully exuberant with rich apricot confit, ripe tropical fruits (think pineapples and passion fruits), intensely pungent magnolia on a swelteringly hot night, dark wildflower honey, with warm wood spice and just a hint of cardamon.
For such a gloriously rich wine, the palate is surprisingly crisp and fresh, and wholly satisfying, the spice/flor/mineral elements extending out into a long, sustained finish, with some crazy flavour reverb adding to the already spellbinding mix. Terrific stuff for those seeking something a little more left-field.
(Five apples out of a possible five)
2019 Crios Torrentés, Cafayate, Salta & Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina (13.5% Alcohol, 2 g/L Residual Sugar) LCBO Vintages Essentials $14.95 (750ml bottle)
Torrentés ranks up there as one of the grapes that I tend to avoid, mainly as I have experienced so many than were simply not suited to my very particular palate’s peculiarities.
Despite this, I understand that many wine drinkers are drawn to this grape’s inherently perfumed charms, much to the chagrin of my old boss, Chef Jamie Kennedy, who used to openly curse me if I were ever to list a Torrontés by the glass back in the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar days.
This affordable bottling surprised me somewhat as I found it to be full of a vibrance and cheeky vitality that I had never previously found in wines produced from this grape. It’s a fun, delightful, undeniably simple white that goes down frighteningly easily during these warmer months.
The nose is one of fragrant orchard fruit (read: green apples and peaches) and a distinctly herbaceous citrus mint note. The palate is lemon-fresh, dry, juicy, crisp, and light, with a medium length citrus-filled finish.
One of those bottles best served well-chilled on a warm deck beside a still lake. Buckets of frolicking vinous fun for the modest price of $14.95.
(Three and a half apples out of a possible five)
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’s really enjoying this deep dive into Argentina. Next up, reds…