Michelin Green Stars in Argentina (Part 2)
Michelin Guide Argentina 2024 introduces the world to the newest constellation of stars emerging in the vast tapestry of Argentina’s culinary landscape: Michelin Green Stars. While Michelin Stars have traditionally been the coveted insignia of culinary excellence, gracing the finest establishments across the globe, Michelin Green Stars recognises restaurants committed not only to exquisite flavours but also to sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Michelin Green Stars were introduced in response to the growing global awareness of sustainable practices, going beyond the plated meal. It showcases not just how delicious the food is but how it gets to the customer, embracing a holistic approach to dining that leaves a positive impact on the environment.
In Argentina, where the passion for food and wine is almost a birthright, the introduction of Michelin Green Stars has set the culinary scene ablaze with a newfound recommitment to environmental responsibility. In a country establishing itself as a beacon of sustainable dining with its sizzling steaks, velvety wines, and a rich gastronomic history, the impending culinary revolution brought by the Michelin recognition will not only tantalise taste buds but also honour the planet. These Green Star recipients in Argentina are not just culinary pioneers, but rather ambassadors of change committed to sustainable practices that extend beyond the kitchen, into the very fabric of their establishments. From responsible sourcing to waste reduction initiatives, they are redefining what it means to be tastemakers and top-tier restaurants in the 21st century.
The culinary future of the country is being shaped by this gourmet revolution with a conscience that has been unearthed by the Michelin Guide’s visit. The resulting presentation of Green Stars signals a shift in the industry’s ethos, where diners are no longer satisfied with just a feast for the palate, but seek instead a feast for the conscience, a dining experience that aligns with their values. The historic visit by Michelin Guide to South America, its first in the region, focused on Argentina to show just how important the country’s role is in shaping the narrative of the region’s cuisine. With a new generation of chefs and restaurateurs embracing sustainability as an integral part of their identity, this culinary shift is not just about meeting a trend, it’s about forging a sustainable path forward for the future of not just Argentine gastronomy, but the gastronomic evolution of the region.
Thursday Food introduces six wines, one vino tinto and one vino blanco each, from the three bodegas in Mendoza whose restaurants were awarded Michelin Green Stars.
Green Star Awardee Casa Vigil, by El Enemigo Wines’ Alejandro Vigil, also received 1 Michelin Star during the Michelin Guide visit to Argentina in 2023. Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Cabernet Franc is a red blend made up of 85 per cent Cabernet Franc and 15 per cent Malbec grapes grown in the Gualtallary region of Tupungato, Mendoza. This 100-point wine expresses aromas of violets, almond blossoms, wild blackberries, blueberries, ash, tea leaves and nutmeg. It is medium-bodied with vibrant acidity and finely intertwined tannins in the mouth that exhibit a tea-like mineral edge, supporting a fresh core of blue fruit. Refined and subtle, yet comforting, its very fine tannins and a notable core of acidity act as a backbone, giving it lots of length on the finish.
Gran Enemigo Torrontés, a 100 per cent Torrontes by El Enemigo Wines, is distinguished from the other wines in its category by its Alsacia bottle. This vintage is above all an extremely complex white that is full of subtleties, having a greenish-yellow colour with a low tone. On the nose, mineral notes dominate along with others from ageing with veil (nuts), but there are also citrus and herbal aromas. The most interesting thing is its palate which expresses a mix of texture (mineral, enveloping) and acidity, which makes it very gastronomic.
Green Star Awardee Riccitelli Bistro is by Riccitelli Wines, makers of some of the country’s best vintages. Viñas Extremas Malbec de Los Chacayes is a 100 per cent varietal that has a deep purple colour and intense aromas of blueberry, plum, blackberry, eucalyptus, violet, lavender, cedar, leather, vanilla, pepper, star anise and chocolate.
In the mouth it is dense and rich, with marked acidity and moderate but ripe tannins, where ripe black fruits mingle with notes of tea, pepper, cocoa, lavender, vanilla, allspice and violet.
Viñas Extremas Sauvignon Blanc de La Carrera by Riccitelli Wines is made from vineyards located 1,600 metres above sea level. It smells like fresh grass, rue, citric fruits along with having a marked mineral character in its aromatic structure. On the palate it has nerve, intensity and volume, unveiling a force that fills the mouth with herbal notes, a touch of spice, citrus and acidity.
Green Star Awardee Zonda Cocina de Paisaje by Bodega Lagarde, also the recipient of 1 Michelin Star in the 2024 Michelin Guide Argentina, appears alongside sister restaurant Fogón Cocina de Viñedo in the guide. Henry Gran Guarda N° 1 Cosecha Tardía is made from 100 per cent Moscato Bianco by Bodega Lagarde and has an intense yellow colour with striking golden reflections. The wine’s aroma is delicate and very complex, exhibiting notes of flowers combined with honey, ripe fruits in syrup and a soft note of vanilla. In the mouth it is creamy and dense, with a high level of acidity that is refreshing and manages to perfectly balance its sweet flavour.
Criolla by Bodega Lagarde is a wine that comprises 100 per cent Criolla Grande, having a medium intensity pink colour with violet shimmers. On the nose, this wine is intense with aromas of very fresh red fruits, such as cherry, raspberry and strawberry. On the palate, the wine transmits freshness with very good unctuousness, exhibiting fruity flavours and a silky texture, an elegant sensation that lasts.
In the twilight of traditional culinary norms, Michelin Green Stars are guiding Argentina into a new era where the love for food is in perfect harmony with a love for the planet. As these stars continue to multiply, they paint a picture of a vibrant culinary scene that not only satisfies appetites but also nourishes the earth. Argentina’s gastronomic journey is now illuminated by a constellation of Michelin Green Stars, beckoning us all to savour the flavours of a sustainable and delicious tomorrow. Salud!