Argentina and Chile are a couple of countries to keep an eye on for satisfying the world’s thirst for value-priced wines. Both countries boast natural resources and near-perfect climatic conditions envied by growers around the world. In terms of production, Argentina is fifth and Chile is ninth.
The two countries are hardly new to the wine scene, but the international acclaim for them may be.
Argentina boasts a rich cultural legacy in relation to wine, with more than 400 years of history building on the traditions of New and Old World wines. In addition to this history, Argentina has a unique location offering a distinction in viticulture, with its altitude creating many microclimates. Another asset to viticulture is the soil’s low fertility. (Unlike many other food crops, grape vines produce better fruit when the roots have to struggle to find the nutrients they need.) Very little of the world’s soil is as young and nutrient-deprived as Argentina’s and, adding to this, the purity of the water makes it a viticulture paradise.
Chile offers the same in its unique viticulture identity. The first vines were planted in Chile in the 1550s. The country’s geographic barriers — the Atacama Desert to the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, the Patagonian ice fields to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west — make Chile an authentic agricultural island. The combination of beneficial natural barriers and a Mediterranean-like climate makes an ideal situation for organic grape growing. While some labels don’t say so, some of the largest organic vineyards in the world are found in Chile.
I recently was honored to be included in a tasting showing off these Argentina and Chile fine wine and its continued greatness.
- NV Pascual Toso Brut, Argentina (about $12 retail)
- 2014 Pascual Toso Malbec Mendoza, Argentina (about $15 retail)
- 2015 Santa Ema Select Terroir Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (about $11 retail)
- 2014 Santa Ema Select Terroir Chardonnay, Chile (about $11 retail)
- 2015 Norton Malbec LuJan De Cuyo, Argentina (about $11 retail)
- 2014 King Malbec, Argentina (about $13 retail)
- 2015 Montes Spring Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (about $16 retail)
- 2015 Montes Cherub Rose of Syrah, Chile (about $17 retail)
- 2013 Santa Ema Reserve Merlot Maipo Valley, Chile (about $16 retail)
- 2013 Montes Twins Red Blend, Chile (about $16 retail)
- 2013 Kaiken Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Agrelo Vineyard, Argentina (about $20 retail)
- 2013 Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina (about $16 retail)