I seem to be covering Argentina quite a bit of late. Today was the Argentinean trade tasting at Lords, which seemed quite well attended. I caught a seminar on terroir and Malbec, which was presented by Philippe Rolet of Alta Vista.
He presented three single vineyard Malbec wines, from roughly similar altitudes, in three different vintages. The goal was to show consistent differences between the vineyards. The wines, from 2003, 2004 and 2005, were all fantastic, and all three vineyards seemed to have their own individual stamp.
But beacuse this was a 'generic' tasting, the rules were that the wines had to be shown bagged (blind). Politics. However, it was clear from the corks that these were Alta Vista's single vineyard wines, which made the bagging process rather pointless.
Chatting later to someone, their comment was that the wine business in Argentina is very political. 'Imagine Italy', they said to me, 'but ten times worse!'