Tasting Report: Wines of Argentina 2011

Argentina continues to confuse me, showing off some excellent wines (at surprisingly high prices)… while the bulk of what I taste from this country is barely palatable. This round of Argentine wine was all over the map (literally, from all over the country), offering both lush Malbecs and plenty of over-jammed, tough, and green wines representing all manner of varietals. Very few of these wines are currently in distribution on the west coast; you may have better luck if you hunt for whatever piques your interest in New York. Thoughts follow.

Tasting Report: Argentine Wine Tasting 2011

2011 Ampakama Torrontes Tulum Valley $9 / B /

2010 Ampakama Intenso Malbec Tulum Valley $11 / C+ /

2009 Don Baltazar Petit Verdot Tulum Valley $15 / B- / very intense

2011 Cepas Andinas Pinot Gris $12 / C+ / awfully tart

2009 Tobiano Reserve Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon La Consulta Uco Valley $21 / B+ /

2008 Lobuno Grand Reserve Malbec-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon La Consulta $35 / B+ / lightly jammy, smoky finish

2008 Zaino Grand Reserve Malbec La Consulta $45 / A- / rich, intense

2008 Triana Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza $22 / A- / light body, smooth and easy

2009 Saurus Pinot Noir Patagonia $15 / B- /

2009 Saurus Malbec Patagonia $15 / B / quite tart

2009 Saurus Cabernet Sauvignon Patagonia $15 / B+ / easy, light body

2009 Saurus Barrel Fermented Pinot Noir Patagonia $25 / B /

2005 Familia Schroeder Pinot Noir/Malbec Pagatonia $50 / B- / the only Pinot/Malbec blend in the world, so they say; there’s a reason for that

2007 Familia Schroeder Malbec Patagonia $50 / C+ / menthol notes are huge, overwhelming

2009 Saurus Pinot Noir Select $17 / C+ /

2009 Saurus Malbec Select $17 / B /

2009 Taymente Malbec Agrelo Lujan de Cuyo $15 / B / tobacco character is huge

2008 Huarpe Agrelo Lujan de Cuyo $20 / B+ / jammier, more easygoing

2006 Guayquil Agrelo Lujan de Cuyo $30 / A- / one of the best of the day, good balance

2011 El Guardado Blend $44 / B+ / young, a bit unripe

2011 El Guardado Syrah $25 / B- / tough and unbalanced

2011 El Guardado Malbec $25 / B+ /

2011 La Noche de San Juan Malbec $18 / B /

2009 NINA Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon $40 / B- / lots of greenness

2008 NINA Petit Verdot Aminga Valley $40 / B- / overwhelming

2007 NINA Blend $30 / B / massive tannins

2010 Pulcu Argentina Malbec Lujan de Cuyo $25 / B+ / good sweetness, herbs

2010 Pulcu Argentina Cabernet Lujan de Cuyo $25 / A- / good balance, a solid Cab

2010 Pulcu Argentina Bonarda Lujan de Cuyo $25 / B / grilled meats, smoky finish

2009 Pulcu Argentina Reserve Selection Lujan de Cuyo $30 / B+ / tart

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