The Vines of Mendoza

Top 5 Holiday Wines


Top 5 Holiday wines


If you still haven’t done your Christmas shopping then forgo the usual Christmas Eve hoards in the shopping malls and head to a wine store instead. Argentine wine is a fab gift at any price point and here are my top five wines that would delight anyone when they find it under the Christmas tree!



For your work colleague


You probably can’t spend too much on your work colleague but that doesn’t mean you can’t impress them. Try Monte Cinco’s Petit Verdot for $16US. One of the more unusual single varieties to come out of Argentina, you can almost guarantee they won’t have one in their cellar and with its violets, spice and mineral notes it won’t last long there either. Advise them to drink it with rich red meats or game dishes, as it is quite a belter!


For your mum


Although some ladies like it big, most ladies like it smooth and fruity – and Atamisque’s Catalpa Chardonnay hits the spot with perfection. Coming from the Uco Valley, this lively Chardonnay has lots of fresh pineapple and floral notes as well as honey and vanilla with a buttery texture from some time with oak. It’s a perfect balance of a bit of body with refreshing fruit. A delicious white for $24US.


For the wine snob


If you want to throw a curveball to the wine snob in your life, this Cabernet Franc will throw him off scent. Very few places do a single variety Cabernet Franc, but this originally French variety is truly blossoming in Argentina with some great wines coming out. One of them is Monteagrelo from the boutique family winery Bressia. Gorgeous fresh cut herbs, roasted pepper, dark fruits and traces of licorice with a racy acidity – this is a gorgeous wine and even at just $30US it will certainly impress.


For your lady friend


If you have a lady to romance, then look no further than Enamore for $36US. Not only does the title suggest a lot of loving, but the wine inside will sweeten anyone up. A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Bonarda, this red wine has been made in the amarone style (did you spot the word play?) by drying the fruit out for a more concentrated sugar to add a bit of sweetness to its expression. Rich, complex and terribly easy to finish the whole lot – it’s an aphrodisiac in a bottle.


For your boss


If you really need to impress someone then you need a stellar wine that you’ve spent top dollar on. A new release and a wine that will leave anyone speechless is Monteviejo’s Lindaflor La Violeta Malbec. Recently released (the 2007 vintage), this Malbec comes from Vista Flores and is carefully tended in the vineyards and given a lot of hand love in the winery to make a lush, concentrated wine that seeks out to make the ultimate Malbec. Its winemaker Marcelo Pelleriti is the only Argentine winemaker to have a perfect 100 Parker point score for the wine he makes in Bordeaux, its older sister La Violette.


All wines are available on The Vines online wine shop just in case you don’t make it to a store on time.



Amanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza, enjoying the festive heat and she’d be over the moon to find any of the above wines in a tinsel wrapped bucket of ice under the palm tree in her garden this year.


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