The ever-growing popularity of white wines from Argentina has resulted in many outstanding varieties, including Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and the highly sought-after Semillón, claiming a place on the 2022 Hot List. For many decades, Argentina has worked tirelessly to establish itself as the South American bastion of exquisitely crafted wines, particularly Malbec; yet, its white wines can be surprising finds on wine lists the world over. Though it has taken more time for the global market to come to know, experience and enjoy "vinos blancos Argentinos", the country's winemakers continue to produce a stellar range of high-quality, exciting, new white wines. This category's vintages in recent years, have enabled vintners to use old-vine white single-varietal wines, as well as terroir-driven, exotic varieties combined with technological innovation to produce white wines that caress the senses.
Last week, in Part 1, Thursday Food presented four sumptuous red wines that made the 2022 Hot List, and today we introduce four white wines that also made the cut:
Crios Sustentia Pinot Gris, a 100 per cent Pinot Gris, is made with grapes from the Uco Valley at vineyards located 1,050 metres above sea level by Bodega Susana Balbo, the 'Queen of Torrontes' and Argentine's first-ever female winemaker. This wine is a nine per cent low-alcohol, reduced-calorie vintage that was created for those who seek to take care of themselves with moderate alcohol consumption. Its low alcohol content is the result of an early harvest that allows obtaining a must with a low sugar concentration. The Pinot Gris is a light and refreshing greenish-yellow wine that, on the nose, presents aromas reminiscent of white peach accompanied by delicate notes of white flowers. On the palate, it is long and fluid with a loose mid-palate that is accompanied by a balanced acidity, which highlights its freshness without being sharp in its finish. Crios is the young line of wines from Susana Balbo Wines made from grapes which are harvested in specific areas of Mendoza and Salta.
Fin Single Vineyard Semillón 2021 is a new, limited edition 100 per cent Semillón, derived from a single vineyard in Patagonia, of which only 600 bottles were produced by winemakers Bodega Fin Del Mundo. The winery, whose Single Vineyard wines are 100 per cent varietals with a Patagonian soul, seeks to reflect the freshness, balance, elegance and particularities offered by the terroir in their wines. Bright in colour with green flashes and golden reflections, the wine delivers notes of white fruit, floral touches and an accompanying wood in the background. The aroma also expresses soft citrus notes, toasted bread, loose tea as well as freshly cut grass. In the mouth, this wine offers a bit of floral meets honey with fruity hints of dried pineapple, cut by a delicate acidity. It is complex and silky with good volume, an almost creamy mid-palate followed by a long, elegant finish. This Semillón has the right smoothness in addition to being decidedly frank and fresh on the palate with friendly textures that provide character and depth.
Las Nencias Chardonnay Single Vineyard, a 100 per cent Chardonnay, is produced in the La Consulta area of Mendoza's Uco Valley region by Las Nencias Wines. This wine's creation was a complex amalgamation to achieve, in which a fresh and clean aroma of green apples and pears strikes at the beginning, underscored by hints of something citric. It also bears a mineral smell and offers an unctuous palate coexisting with a friendly and balanced acidity while having an alcoholic volume of 15 per cent. In the mouth, it achieves an excellent balance between very fine wood, from malolactic fermentation in first-use barrels, and fruits like pineapples along with white peach highlighted by touches of butter and hazelnut. This Chardonnay, with its intense yellow colour with greenish tones, stands out equally for its sweet and unctuous aroma just as much as its elegant, long finish.
Turbio Sauvignon Blanc 2021 is a 100 per cent Sauvignon Blanc, of which only 765 bottles were made, that has an alcoholic volume of 12.5 per cent and was produced by Ravera Wines from vineyards located in La Carrera, Uco Valley's Tupungato area. Reminiscent of days past when wine was had straight from the tanks, this vintage is unfiltered having not passed through wood and contains natural sediments, hence the name Turbio which translates to cloudy in English. This wine is slightly golden yet cloudy in colour and it is recommended that you shake the bottle before pouring. In the mouth, it has greater density and a smoothness produced by its natural lees. Sediment in wine occurs naturally, being either tartrate crystals ("wine diamonds") or spent yeast, called lees, which are both natural by-products that are not harmful to your body.
In upcoming weeks, Thursday Food will introduce more labels from the 2022 Hot List, so stay tuned to these pages!
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