My top wines from the Argentina Wine Awards

argentina wine awards
I’ve just finished writing up the notes from judging the Argentine Wine Awards in Mendoza last month. These are my personal notes and scores on the wines I liked the best out of those that I tried (I’m guessing just over a quarter of the entered wines, because we were split into four teams of judges). 73 of the 203 I tasted scored 90/100 or higher, and these are the wines here. [I will soon publish all of the notes on wineanorak.com.]

The judging panel I was on - Martin Kaiser and Peter Granoff are my fellow judges

The judging panel I was on – Martin Kaiser and Peter Granoff are my fellow judges

You can find the official results here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just seven shared my top score of 94/100. Within each score grouping these wines are in no particular order. It’s always interesting to see the scores you give to wines in a blind tasting, which is a great leveller.

94

Bodega Zuccardi Valle De Uco Tito Zuccardi Paraje Altamira 2015 Mendoza
Vivid, bright, forward and structured with nice density and freshness to the fruit. Very lively with cherries and blackberries, as well as some blackcurrant freshness. 94/100

Bodegas Fabre Viñalba Patagonia Malbec 2016 Patagonia
Lovely stuff: very fresh and pure with vivid black cherry and backberry fruit. So expressive and detailed with nice freshness and good tannin. 94/100

Benegas Single Vineyard Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Nice pure fruit here with lovely freshness and balance. Has good structure and acidity under very expressive fruit. Lovely stuff. 94/100

Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Laborde Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Lively and pure with lovely linear, structured blackcurrant fruit. Very convincing and varietally true. Quite lovely. 94/100

Terrazas De Los Andes Reserva Chardonnay 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Stylish, fresh and focused with a lovely citrus core as well as some spicy apple and pear detail. Subtle hints of cabbage here complement the pure fruit. Very stylish. 94/100

Melipal Supernova Limited Edition I 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Malbec/Cabernet Franc. Ripe, sweet, berryish and lush with a sleek, smooth palate and lots of berry fruits. There’s a nice texture here: it’s ripe but also really fresh with fine grained structure. Polished and expressive. 94/100

Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard Agrelo Cabernet Franc 2013 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
This is pretty serious, with good structure and weight. Ripe berry fruits with some fresh cherry character, and good structure. This has the potential to develop really nicely. 94/100

 

93

Riccitelli & Father 2014 Mendoza
80% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc. Concentrated and intense, yet with freshness. Bold with some sweetness to the black cherry and blackberry fruit. There’s some silkiness and prettiness to the fruit, with good tannins adding structure. 93/100

Riccitelli Wines Republica Del Malbec 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Dense, concentrated, ripe and generous with rich, bold sweet black fruits, with a bit of raspberry freshness. This is very attractive and polished with a bit of grip. A big wine but really well made. 93/100

Fabre Montmayou Reserva Malbec 2016 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Vivid and sweet with nice density to the structured black fruits. Has some fine spiciness. Very polished but also retains freshness and interest. 93/100

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza Malbec 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Open, supple, slightly green-edged cherry and blackberry fruit. It’s fresh and fruity with really keen acidity and a freshness to the fruit. There’s a liveliness here and a beautifully expressive acid structure. 93/100

Familia Schroeder Saurus Select Malbec 2016 Patagonia
This is so fresh and floral with lovely structure and acidity and beautiful precise, sweet cherry fruit, together with some floral overtones. Lovely freshness and very focused, with a slight saline edge. Joyful but with a hint of seriousness. 93/100

Solocontigo Colección Blend 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
75% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Syrah. Sweet, ripe and seductive with more-ish lush black fruits. Smooth and polished with a very ripe, generous personality. Big but good. 93/100

Andeluna Cellars Pasionado 2014 Uco Valley, Mendoza
47% Malbec, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot. I like this: there’s a nice combination of sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit with some freshness and notes of gravel and fine herbs. Very stylish. 93/100

Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard Gualtallary Cabernet Franc 2013 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Fresh, concentrated and sweetly fruited with a lot of richness but also some good balance. Sweet but balanced with a nice grainy structure under the smooth fruit. 93/100

Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard El Cepillo Cabernet Franc 2013 Mendoza
Fleshy and bright with some structure under the sweet black fruits. Has real intensity with a fine-grained structure to the sleek, sweet fruit. Very attractive. 93/100

Corazon Del Sol Cabernet Franc 2013 Uco Valley, Mendoza
This is ripe and powerful with nice density of sweet berry fruits. There’s good structure and acidity under the polished, expressive fruit. Good weight. Ripe but balanced. 93/100

Mascota Vineyards Big Bat Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Uco Valley, Mendoza        
Lovely freshness and structure here with ripe blackcurrant fruit and fine juiciness. Has a nice savoury edge with some spicy structure and a touch of fine herbiness. 93/100

Trapiche Gran Medalla Pinot Noir 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza        
Very attractive compact sweet cherry and berry fruit with good density. Ripe but balanced with lovely structure under the sweet fruit. Has a fine spicy undercurrent. 93/100

Casa Montes Don Baltazar Malbec 2015 La Rioja
Coffee and spice on the nose from the oak. Lovely sweet fruit here that’s concentrated and well balanced with nice polish and power. Very classy. 93/100

Enrique Foster Firmado Malbec 2011 Mendoza
Fresh and supple with good concentration of sweet red and black fruits. Has good structure and an attractive texture. Shows balance, weight and power, with some tannins on the finish. 93/100

Proemio Gran Reserva Winemakers Selection 2014 Maipú, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
50% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, 5% Garnacha. Vivid and intense with powerful sweet dark fruits. Concentrated and yet quite fresh with bold, intense fruit. 93/100

Trivento Lejanamente Juntos 2013 Mendoza
60% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh and vivid with great definition to the concentrated black fruits. There’s quite a bit of structure here under the polished black cherry and blackberry fruit, with some spiciness and a hint of tar. 93/100

Luigi Bosca De Sangre 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mandoza
85% Cabernet Sauvignon,  8% Syrah, 7% Merlot. Distinctive stuff: very ripe and lush, but with notes of pepper, herbs and tar. Really expressive. Despite its ripeness and richness, there’s some real appeal to this. 93/100

 

92

 

Atamisque Assemblage 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
50% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. Quite peppery and lively with a spicy edge to the focused black fruits. Good concentration and depth with some structure. Finishes lively and quite tangy. 92/100

Susana Balbo Wines Benmarco Expresivo 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
83% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Franc. Sweet, polished, ripe and lush with sleek open blackberry and black cherry fruit. Very smooth and ripe. Lovely immediacy and pleasure from the fruit, with some structure on the finish. 92/100

Melipal Blend 2014 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
60% Malbec, 30% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc. There’s real density and substance to this wine, with its bold, intense black fruits. Quite sweetly fruited, but this fruit is supported by notes of spice, gravel and tar. Finishes spicy and salty. Bold stuff. 92/100

Malma Finca La Papay Malbec 2016 Patagonia
Lovely fruit here: has sweetness but also freshness with a nice stony edge to the floral black cherries and plums. Nice fruity freshness. 92/100

Finca Flichman Dedicado Gran Corte 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
85% Malbec, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. I like the freshness here. The fruit is ripe and expansive with a lush cherry and berry character, but there’s a nice spiciness, too. Fine grained tannins here with a bit of grip. 92/100

Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard Chacayes Cabernet Franc 2013 Mendoza
This is powerful but very fresh with good acidity supporting the sweet ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit. Vivid, floral and intense with just a hint of tar.  92/100

Luca Beso De Dante 2014 Uco Valley, Mendoza
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc. There’s a bit of structure here under the bold, rich blackberry and cherry fruits. Has real density and focus. Fruit driven and vivid. Rich but still in balance. 92/100

Atamisque Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Fleshy and ripe with a lovely open sweet, fresh raspberry and cherry character. Slightly jammy and sweet, but still fresh with nice grip. 92/100

Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Fresh, grippy, a bit tannic and meaty with lovely fresh, bright fruit characters. Juicy and vivid with nice freshness. Very pretty and structured. 92/100

Bodegas Fabre Hj Fabre Barrel Selection Malbec 2016 Patagonia
Concentrated and dense with nice sweet berry and cherry fruits. Has a richness on the mid-palate, and also a bit of saltiness. Quite structured: this has more extraction and richness. But it’s still fresh. Finishes tannic. 92/100

Andeluna Altitud Chardonnay 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Very lively and pure with good acidity and nice stony citrus fruit, with a bit of pear richness. Lovely brightness and transparency, with good acidity. 92/100

Luis Segundo Correas Valle Las Acequias Malbec Oak 2014 East Mendoza
This has good concentration and freshness with sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit, coupled with a bit of spicy structure. There’s lushness but no over-ripeness, and it’s very successful. 92/100

Dante Robino Gran Dante Bonarda 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Really pretty and floral with nice sweet cherry fruit, and a bit of spicy grip. Lovely brightness and freshness here. Shows nice purity and brightness. 92/100

Nieto Senetiner Bonarda Partida Limitada 2013 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
This is dense, vivid and spicy with sweet cherry and berry fruits underpinned by some polished new oak. Impressive density, richness and freshness. Modern and ambitious. 92/100

 

91

Pascual Toso Finca Pedregal Single Vineyard  2015 Mendoza
53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Malbec. This has concentration but also freshness, with lovely sleek, sweet black fruits. Has a bit of structure on the palate, and is a tiny bit drying, but there’s appealing sweet fruit here. Lots to like, even though it is a tiny bit hollow in the mid-palate. 91/100

Pascual Toso Alta Malbec 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
This is smooth, textured and lush with generous, slightly jammy fruit and a slight salinity in the mouth. Has breadth and depth. Ripe but still in balance. 91/100

Auge Malbec 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Vivid and expressive with lovely sleek ripe black fruits. Has good structure with very pure, slightly silky fruit. Subtle meat and herb notes add interest. 91/100

Bodegas Fabre Viñalba Reserva Malbec/Cabernet Franc 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
80% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc. Very fresh, supple and chalky with lovely red fruits. Has some sweetness and quite a bit of freshness. Such lovely supple fruit. Beautiful for the price. 91/100

Zorzal Gran Terroir Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Lovely freshness here: bright raspberry and cherry fruit with some juiciness and nice spicy depth. Fresh and vivid with a sweet but focused fruit profile. 91/100

Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Vivid and quite dense but with some warmth and spice as well as juicy black cherry and blackberry fruit. Has good structure and also some blackcurrant freshness. Quite convincing. 91/100

Negocios Y Emprendimientos Zorzal Piantao Cabernet Franc 2013 Uco Valley, Mendoza
90% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Syrah. Great concentration here with sweet, bold blackberry and cherry fruit. Has a very ripe, tarry, seductive quality with lots of sweet fruit. A big, showy wine that’s initially very seductive, but then feels a bit over the top. 91/100

Bodegas Salentein Numina Gran Corte 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
68% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot. Great concentration with bold sweet black fruits combining with some spicy oak. Very rich and intense. So plush and silky with lots of sweetness. 91/100

Bodegas Salentein Primus Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Concentrated blackcurrant fruit with some spice and tar. Has nice acidity. Rich and warm with some nice spiciness. Polished and forward. 91/100

Millán S.A. / Bodega Los Toneles Sapo De Otro Pozo 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
80% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Syrah. Dense and spicy with some earthy, tar notes under the sweet berry fruit. Concentrated, generous and plush. 91/100

Riccitelli Wines “The Apple Doesnt Fall Far From The Tree” Pinot Noir 2016 Mendoza
Very attractive cherry and plum fruit here: sweet with nice density. Juicy and lively with lovely acidity and a very pure, vibrant, ripe, joyful personality. 91/100

Mevi Chardonnay 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Subtle toast and ripe apple richness here alongside some nicely weighted pear and citrus fruit. There’s a trace of nutty oak that fits in very well. 91/100

Bodega Los Toneles Fuego Blanco Cabernet Franc Malbec 2015 La Rioja
60% Cabernet Franc, 40% Malbec. Ripe, supple and balanced with sweet cherry and berry fruits. Very supple and drinkable with nice freshness and weight. 91/100

Fabre Montmayou Gran Reserva Malbec 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Lush and sweet with concentrated, compact cherry and berry fruits, with some firmness and good acidity. Structured and quite primary with potential for development. 91/100

Budeguer Tucumen Reserva Ancellotta 2016 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
88% Ancellotta, 12% Malbec. Sweet and appealing with really pretty ripe raspberry and cherry fruit with lovely grip and density. There’s a freshness and an expressive quality to this wine. Pretty, pure and beguiling, but also has some density. 91/100

 

90

 

Susana Balbo Wines Crios Red Blend 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
73% Malbec, 22% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot. Supple raspberry and red cherry fruit here with an appealing spiciness. Nicely vivid and fruity with great balance. Very drinkable. 90/100

La Rural Rutini Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Fresh and ripe with bold, concentrated black fruit character and some fine spiciness. It’s fruity and dense with some savoury, tarry spicy notes. Warm and ripe. 90/100

Luigi Bosca-Familia Arizu Luigi Bosca Grand Pinot Noir La Consulta 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Supple and juicy with nice fruitiness. Good balance with a bit of spice on the finish. Has sweet and savoury characters with appealing cherry and plum fruit. 90/100

Bodegas Salentein Callia Malbec 2017 La Rioja
Open and supple with nice weight to the fruit. Very juicy and lively with a bit of spice. Drinkable and quite delicious. 90/100

Sottano Vicentin Maldito 2013/2014/2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
100% Malbec. Concentrated and dense with bold, sweet black fruits. Quite warm and polished with a very ripe personality. The alcohol makes its presence known. 90/100

La Rural Rutini Apartado Gran Malbec 2014 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Concentrated and sweetly fruited with ripe cherries and raspberries as well as some black fruit depth. Warm and sleek, in a very modern style. 90/100

Bodegas Caro Amancaya 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
85% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweetly fruited, ripe and quite seductive with lush black fruits. Generous and polished, this is a nice modern wine. 90/100

Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo La Poderosa Malbec 2017 Patagonia
Very fruity and expressive with sweet cherries and plums. Bright and lively with nice clean, fresh, expressive fruit. Very drinkable. 90/100

Terrazas De Los Andes Reserva Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Dense and juicy with bold black fruits and good structure. It’s tarry and spicy with a bold personality. Nice but a tiny bit baked. 90/100

Luigi Bosca Malbec Los Miradores 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Spicy and dense with some oak evident. Has some cedar and herb notes as well as fresh, structured red fruits. 90/100

Salentein Single Vineyard Finca San Pablo Pinot Noir 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Nice sweet fruit here, with ripeness and nice weight, but also quite a lot of savoury, spicy oak character. This gets in the way a bit at the moment. 90/100

Bodega Santos J Carelli Carla Chiaro Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Supple, bright and sweet with lovely fruit. Very fresh and has a raspberry crunch as well as the bright cherry fruit. Very nice. 90/100

Finca Flichman Dedicado Tupungato Malbec 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Open, floral and quite exotic with nice, supple, sweet fruit. Has a lovely juicy quality. Fresh and pure. 90/100

Trivento Golden Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Uco Valley, Mendoza
Lovely freshness here with pear and citrus fruit, and a touch of pineapple, with nicely integrated oak. Stylish stuff. 90/100

Ruca Malen Brut 2015 Uco Valley, Mendoza
75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. Fruity and approachable with some attractive toasty notes and nice pear and citrus fruit. This has lots of fruit, with some richness. Very appealing. 90/100

Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Bonarda 2014 East Mendoza
Supple, ripe, berryish and clean and very drinkable with fresh cherry and berry fruits. Has some spicy complexity and good texture. Very appealing. 90/100

Dante Robino Gran Dante Robino Malbec 2015 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Lush, sweet and floral with nice open cherry and plum fruit with good structure and acidity. Quite pretty and open with good freshness. 90/100

Decero Syrah Remolinos Vineyard 2013 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Some cocoa and spice here hiding under the attractive, lush, sweet berry fruits. Quite ripe and inviting with a bit of pepper spice on the finish. Very attractive in a ripe, lush style. 90/100

Fabre Montmayou Reserva Cabernet Franc 2016 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
This is very ripe and sweetly fruited with intense raspberry and red cherry fruit, with bright acidity on the finish. Pure and quite intense with a very modern personality. 90/100

Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2017 Maipú/Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Fresh, complex and quite mineral with some stony undercurrents to the bright citrus and pear fruit. Nice freshness and weight here, with good balance. 90/100

 

1 comment to My top wines from the Argentina Wine Awards

  • Sebastián

    Hi, just two single comments: for “Bodegas Salentein Callia Malbec 2017 La Rioja”, Despite Bodegas Callia is part of the Salentein group, the name of the “bodega” should be Bodegas Callia, not Bodegas Salentein.
    On the other hand, the location of Bodegas Callia is San Juan, not La Rioja. Nice review!

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

*