The 2022 Global Malbec Masters Contest, which announced its winning wines at the end of last year, saw Argentine varietals reigning supreme across all categories. In fact, the lion's share of entries came from South America, with Argentina dominating the medals, especially gold and silver. Today, Thursday Food features a multiple-medallist, Agostino Wine Group, whose varietals won gold and silver at the end of adjudication. With estates in Maipu and the Uco Valley, they won a trio of silver medals for the Crux Malbec 2020, Crux Xtra Malbec 2019, Agostino Legado Malbec 2017 and a gold medal for their Estate Malbec 2019.
Since 2003, Agostino Wine Group has been a family-driven enterprise aimed at producing the very best wines from Argentina. Some three decades after establishing a successful real estate company in Canada, the current generation of the family, whose childhood roots were in Mendoza, decided to embark on a new adventure in wines. Having grown up in the region, the siblings recognised the inherent potential in the land and, after a long search, acquired vineyards in the Maipu region of Mendoza. It is their inherent belief that, with unwavering passion and a commitment to innovation, their production capacity will be limitless.
Finding the ideal terroir was one of the biggest challenges for the Agostino family, so they finally chose the Mendoza area of Barrancas in Maipú, due to its great potential and unique soil courtesy of the Mendoza River's bed. The Maipu estate is located at 850 metres above sea level with most of the planted land benefitting from both a trellis system and a generations-old pergola system. Warm days and cool nights allow their grapes to achieve an optimum ripeness while scarce rain and strong sunny days create the perfect grapes. Barrancas is a uniquely rich region as it benefits from the nutrients of the Mendoza River, which used to run through the estate, its alluvial stony soils enabling the production of exceptional quality wines with intense aroma.
Agostino Wine Group also acquired the Telteca wine brand as well as vineyards now known as La Serafina (named after their mother, the matriarch of the family) in Uco Valley's La Consulta, largely due to the great potential in the southern region's microclimate and its day-to-night temperature variations. In 2018, their unwavering pursuit of producing excellent wines and desire for innovation paired with cutting-edge architecture led them to acquire what is now known as the critically acclaimed Alfa Crux Winery in the Uco Valley.
A relentless quest for excellence resulted in what is considered the crowning achievement of the Agostino family and their lifetime dedication to ambitious entrepreneurialism and diligent hard work. The shared family values instilled in them by their parents, allowed them to immediately focus on what they do best, designing and building state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, while tending diligently to the vines and immersing themselves in viticulture. Bodega Finca Agostino, by the Agostino Wine Group, houses the company's headquarters, winery complete with awe-inspiring barrelling cellars, as well as a restaurant, tasting rooms and art-gallery used for hosting events and wine experiences. All this is set against the iconic dramatic backdrop that is the landmark Andes Mountain Range which spans seven countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
Bodega Finca Agostino, built in the heart of the family's Barrancas estate, surrounded by picturesque gardens and fountains, was inaugurated in 2005. Its operations include stainless steel tanks with a capacity of 2 million liters and 1 million liters in epoxy-sealed concrete pools along with the latest technology for collection, crushing, pressing, winemaking and bottling. The wines are aged in French and American barrels in a unique cellar, located in an underground tunnel that joins the winery and the family home. This climate-controlled cellar, with its strict temperature and humidity control, ensures only the best, award-winning varietals are produced by the winery.
Crux Malbec 2020, a silver medal winner, is described as having a violet colour with reddish reflections, limpid and bright, with medium to high colour intensity. On the nose it presents red fruits such as plum, cherry and blackberry, also expressing liquorice, smoked and spice notes (nutmeg, black pepper). In the mouth, notes of red fruits, subtlety of smoke and minerality are perceived, with a medium persistence.
Crux Xtra Malbec 2019, also a silver medal winner, is wine with a deep purplish-red colour. On the nose, it is spicy, fruity and complex with aromas reminiscent of blackberries and violets. Some typical herbal notes of the El Cepillo region are presented. In the mouth, it has balanced acidity, silky and elegant texture with an important presence of ripe tannins.
Agostino Legado Malbec 2017, the third silver medallist from the Agostino Wine Group, is an intense red in colour with violet hues, the typical colour of Malbecs from Valle de Uco. Its barrel aging gives it complex aromas, deepening the notes of ripe red fruits, expressing strong aromas of spices, coffee and chocolate. On the palate it is a wine of great character, with a frank entry into the mouth, great structure and a long finish possessing high concentration and extensive aging potential.
The lone gold medallist for Bodega Finco Agostino was its Agostino Estate Malbec 2019, produced equally of Malbec grapes from its Maipu and Uco Valley estates. The wine is ruby red in colour with violet tones, having the presence of very marked aromas of red fruits, cherries and plums. In the mouth, it is balanced on the palate, with soft tannins as well as being full-bodied and harmonious. Its aging in French oak barrels for 10 months makes it a wine with a long persistence, complex and highly elegant.
In addition to award-winning Malbecs, Agostino Wine Group also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Torrontés, a Malbec Rosé, Tempranillo, Semillón, Gewurztraminer, Corte and Sauvignon Blanc.
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