Catching up with Argento: Quality Wine of ArgentinaBy Marisa D'Vari | June 16th, 2011 | Category: Argentina, News | 1 Comment »
"Pinot Grigio from Argentina?" a guest asks, accepting a glass of nicely chilled, cool climate Pinot Grigio at the private dining room of Industria Argentina in Tribeca.
I am tasting the Pinot Grigio, rolling its dry, mineral-rich, balanced flavors in my mouth whilechatting with two very intriguing and charming gentlemen. First, meet Argento’s Chief Winemaker Nick Goldschmidt - an Australian by birth who has made wine and led high-profile teams at some of the most important, wineries in the world. In the fullness of the evening I will see him reveal his impressions of Argentinian wine thirty years back (fruity, oxidative) and talk about the steps he has taken to bring the region and the wines under his leadership into the modern era. General Manager Juan Pablo Lupiañez is very elegant and charming, with lots of great stories about the brand. Polly Long, Marketing Manager for Argento, is seated by me and we talk during dinner about the brand and its inception in 1998 and how well it has penetrated various markets.
So the evening started with their cool Climate Pinot Grigio, and I spent time trying to find how I would identify it from an Italian PG. I supposed it was that the fruit was riper, and there was just a different profile to the wine. While I mulled this over I met Luke Higgins from Lion Nathan, the USA Distributor.
The first course of Crab Cervice was paired with 2010 Torrontes, a popular favorite. It is a very aromatic wine and went well with the course.
Next came 2009 Bonarda, an Italian varietal that presents very well in Argentina. This wine has very ripe red fruit with tannin, and is aged in oak for six months (30% french, 70% American). It was paired with house smoked Patagonian trout.
The 2009 Argento Malbec followed. It was paired with Fava beans and potatoes. Thsis wine wasaged in oak for 6months (50% French, 50% American) and very rich and well balanced.
Next came the 2009 Argento Cabernet Sauvignon, also aged six months in oak (80% French, 20% American) which paired with crispy duck and quinoa risotto.
Yet my favorite red of the night was the Argento Reserva Malbec 09, paired with slow cooked short ribs. This wine was aged in oak for nine months.
The ARgento story is very interesting as it incorporates many vineyards in many different areas of Argentina ... each with its own specific altitude, soils, and sense of terroir. Both Nick and Juan Pablo (JP) are brilliant and passionate and it was a very special evening to share the wine and some of the Argento team behind the wine.