Last week Mendoza played host to the 2008 Argentine Wine Awards, as well as a seminar on "Successful Wine Styles in the United States," intended to help local wine makers in the US market. The panelists were Doug Frost, Patricio Tapia, Michael Franz, Paul Lukacs, Charlie Arturaola, Marguerite Thomas, Michael Schachner and Steve Olson, some of the US's leading wine experts and journalists. Several of us from The Vines were in attendance at the fascinating seminar, and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you.
The panelists seemed to agree that Argentina's strength lies in its differences. This is the only place on Earth that produces such high quality, well rounded Malbec, and the Torrontes grape is unique to Argentina. Bonarda, while also grown in Northern Italy, is garnering quite a reputation for quality here in Argentina. The consensus was that Argentine wine makers should concentrate on these varietals that set them apart, rather than increasing plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. They benefit from the diversity of the North American wine market, and should focus on creating an identity for themselves as the producers of unique wines that provide value at every price point. They have the advantage of making wines that are accessible young, and savvy label designers and marketers who help them express themselves to the world. The future is bright for the wines of Argentina!
The Argentine Wine Awards showcased wines that shine, many of which are not (yet) known in the United States, and some of which we have the pleasure of selling in our online wine shop. The award winning Cavas de Crianza Malbec is even part of our upcoming Acequia Wine Club shipment! 500 wines were tasted; here are the results: