It's official: the wines of Argentina are no longer just good value for $10. They're a GREAT deal across the board, and the market is catching on!
This is no small feat. Chile, for example, entered the export market with value wines that had if anything too much success: Chilean wine became so strongly associated with low price points that they've still been unable to successfully sell wines on the higher end. Australia has fought a similar uphill battle and only recently seen any movement in the boutique sector.
As the below article shows, however, everybody has been catching on to Argentina. We at The Vines of Mendoza would like to claim some small part of the credit for showing the world that spectacular wines are being made here for wallets of every size, but as you see here what's happening is much bigger than us. Though we do try to give the snowball a little push every now and then....
Wednesday, July 09
by Nick Lees, The Edmonton Journal
The talk around the barbecue table was about getting a good bang for the buck in a wine that paired well with hamburgers, chicken, sausages, ribs and steaks.
"Argentina is on fire," said a buddy, whose comments surprised me.
He's one of those guys you always feel you should bring one of your best, well-aged wines when you are invited for supper.
Nicolas Cornejo was in Edmonton
to promote Michel Torino organic
wines from Argentina.
"Argentina Malbec is well on its way to becoming what Shiraz was about five or six years ago," he added.
I suggested Argentina was making some wonderful wines, but prices were creeping up as demand for the country's wine increased.
"No," said my friend. "I've been buying some excellent wine for about $13 a bottle."
As luck would have it, I had a dinner date the following week with Nicolas Cornejo from Argentina's Michel Torino winery, a high-altitude operation surrounded by scenic mountains in the Calchaqui Valley in Salta, Cafayate.
The sun bounces off the nearby Andes in this northern wine area and there are as many as 350 sunny days in a year. The thermal difference between night and day can be about 22 degrees, allowing grapes to retain their acid.
"Temperature extremes keep us free from viruses and allow the production of wines free from chemical products or preservatives," said Cornejo.
"The soil is ideal; deep, poor and rocky. The result is Torino is producing wines of concentrated colour, aromas and flavours, with a unique, fruity character."
How much for a bottle was the question I asked Cornejo, after being impressed by two wines.
"I've visited many stores in Edmonton today and have seen our Coleccion range selling for between $11 and $14," he said.
Eureka, I thought to myself. This might be the winery my connoisseur friend was talking about.