The southern hemisphere is on the cusp of spring, which means all of us up here in the northern half of the world are about to soon say goodbye to summer. Instead of lamenting the days that have been, let’s all try and remind ourselves that there’s still a good amount of warm weather left on the calendar. One of the best ways to remind us of that is with the wines we choose to drink.
Argentina is a country best known for its red wine and steak, so its white and rosé wines can sometimes be surprising to see on shelves and wine lists. But as a matter of fact, in the last few vintages, Argentina’s white and rosé wines have been making waves with the emergence of some key premium categories – old-vine single-varietal wines, terroir-driven chardonnay, pinot grigio, and exotic varieties produced with innovative winemaking.
There’s no doubt that a new wine revolution is underway in Argentina. And while it’s unlikely to create a tidal wave of exports, as with malbec a decade ago, Argentina’s winemakers are proving that their white wines and rosés are certainly worth taking the time to taste.
So, instead of rushing to the cellar to start bringing out the hearty reds (their time will come), let’s continue to drink refreshing whites and rosés and make these last few weeks of warm weather count. To help with the cause, I’ve selected seven wines – all from Argentina and widely available at wine stores – that, at the very least, reminds us of warm days but can certainly be enjoyed any time of the year when the mood strikes.
Susana Balbo 2018 Signature White Blend
A blend of 35 percent semillón, 35 percent sauvignon blanc and 30 percent torrontés. It’s a tropically perfumed wine with intense flavours. In fact, it’s so aromatic, you’ll be sniffing it for minutes at a time. Dry and mouth-wateringly fresh, with a stony mineral finish. ($21.95)
Susana Balbo 2019 Signature Rosé
This beautifully packaged bottle (designed to match the Signature White Blend) is made with 60 percent malbec and 40 percent pinot noir harvested from vineyards 1,200 metres above sea level. Only slightly pressed in order to reduce skin contact. Very balanced and clean with grapefruit notes shining through on the palate with hints of pepper. Great with smoked salmon. ($22.95)
El Enemigo 2017 Chardonnay
100 percent chardonnay from calcareous soils in Gualtallary vineyards located more than 1,400 metres above sea level. It’s aged in 500 litre French oak barrels for nine months. Buttered toast and almond notes compliment a citrusy mid-palate and an orchard fruit medley on the finish. ($23.95)
La Mascota 2019 Rosé
Made with 100 percent Malbec, this wine is given just three hours of skin contact during crush to give it that pale pink colour. It’s easy drinking, with aromas of cherries and raspberries, balanced with fresh citrus. ($16.95)
La Mascota 2018 Chardonnay
From the heart of Maipu in Mendoza’s Primera Zona, this chardonnay is aged nine months in French and American oak barrels. The aromas of pear, pineapple and lemon are enhanced with a subtle layer of sweet vanilla from barrel ageing. It’s light on its feet and is refreshing with crisp acids and a pleasing finish. ($16.95)
Luigi Bosca 2019 Rosé
This rosé is comprised of pinot gris and pinot noir. It’s soft and bright-coloured with vibrant and fresh aromas of red fruits, flowers and honey. The mouthfeel is fresh and palate-cleansing. ($18.95)
Graffigna 2019 Pinot Grigio
Graffigna is celebrating their 150th anniversary, founded in 1870. The winery is considered one of the most historic wineries in Argentina. This pinot grigio displays notes of citrus and floral nuances, with hints of white peach and apricot. It’s fresh with a pleasant after taste that is crisp and nicely balanced. ($12.95)