As I said in my last post, I basically know nothing about Argentina – I mean I do, a little bit – but I’d struggle with much more than – it’s in South America, Mendoza makes a lot, Salta is good for cool climate wines and they plant at high altitude. Oh and Malbec of course – they do Malbec in spades over there and it’s often quite tasty.
That is the sum of my knowledge – so if you’re reading this as a novice you can now claim to know something about Argentinian wines.
As part of my self education, planning for a large promotion at work and because it seemed like a good idea at the time I’m tasting a LOT of Argentina at the moment, in fact a couple of days ago I tasted 18, there are six more sat on my desk waiting for me to get to, 4 next door, more on the way and a couple of dates in the diary to taste with some importers – so my knowledge is going to go from zilch to at least something pretty quickly. What I have learned is that there are styles that really work and those that do not – one winery I didn’t really get on with was Pascual Toso.
I tasted 8 of their wines (they actually produce 14 wines!), and across the range I just wasn’t wowed. Their ‘Estate’ range were fine – probably good value in their own way but found that at this entry level the use of oak was a little bit clumsy and the wines just felt a little bit blocky. The reserve wines were on the whole were probably just the sort of wine that might win big points and stand out at a tasting – but for me the fruit was overripe, the oak too sweet and compared to the wines of Pulenta that we tasted alongside them the wines lacked finesse and stand out quality. That is not to say if you see them in a shop you should completely avoid them – but I wouldn’t go ordering a case without trying them first – they just weren’t for me.