Sunday, December 05, 2004

Argentina's best red wines

Argentina is now producing some of the best red wines in the world, says James Molesworth in Wine Spectator. Both the 2002 and the 2003 vintages were terrific, with Malbec emerging as "the country's premier grape." The best wines are typically "sourced from old-vine vineyards," some dating back to the 1800s. "It's this enviable vineyard base that gives Argentina a leg up on much of its competition." In a recent tasting of 255 Argentine wines, 89 of them Malbecs, these four emerged as the clear winners in their classes.

Best Wine: Achaval-Ferrer, Malbec Mendoza Finca Altamira 2003 ($85) - This wine, with its "terrific length, purity and balance," earned a score of 94 out of 100.

Best Value: Bodegas Escorihuela Malbec Mendoza Don Miguel Gascon ($11) - A chocolaty wine with a "smoky finish" and a score of 90.

Smart Buys: Dominio del Plata Malbec Mendoza BenMarco 2002 ($20) - Supple and elegant. AND Bodegas Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec Mendoza Reserva 2002 ($15) - "Terrific core of blackberry, black fig and boysenberry fruit."

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