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Iris Malbec

£9.95 £8.95
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Bodegas Staphyple, ran by the Porretta family for three generations in Mendoza boasts its success to the hidden, privileged location of the vineyards, allowing the grapes to ripen without losing their freshness.

An approachable Malbec!  This is a young and fruity wine from the Porretta vineyards in Luján de Cuyo. Really soft flavours of cherries, plums, and a pleasing finish.

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Recoleta Pedro Blanco

£12.50
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Pedro Ximenez from Argentina.  A delightful flurry of inviting aromatics – lots of juicy-ripe citrus fruit, but also lifted herbaceous notes and dried flowers.   This lovely little wine is stylistically more like an Albariño than a run-of-the-mill Pinot Grigio, with lots to get stuck into, great balance and structure and an excellent finish.

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Durigutti Cereza Cara Sucia

£12.50
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This wine is made from the Cereza grape. which translates as ‘cherry’, and from vines plated in 1940 using the ancient pergola method. As you might expect this brings bright, fresh tangy flavours of red cherries and redcurrants with some spicy and savoury notes on the finish. A perfect ‘chillable’ red.

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Bodega Mauricio Lorca Recoleta Bonarda

£13.00
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Brand new in from Mauricio Lorca – a perfect example, showing that Argentina has much more to offer than Malbec. This 100% Bonarda from Vista Flores in Mendoza has an abundance of fresh red fruit character; cherry, raspberry, redcurrant and cranberry. Along with good structure, soft tannins and a long finish.  Wonderfully delicious on its own, but pairs really well with lean meats, red meats and dishes with creamy sauces.

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Lorca Lorca Malbec

£13.50
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A really good winemaker like Mauricio Lorca sometimes dots the I’s and crosses the T’s with a little touch of something else. In this case Mauricio has used a little Syrah – powerful, spicy, dark Syrah –  to inject a little extra pizzazz into this already very attractive Malbec. The key to the wine’s huge appeal is, like many good things in life, its simplicity and honesty. Simple, juicy, fresh and delicious; what’s not to like?

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Sottano Rosé Brut

£13.95
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Wow!  This is wonderful, full of raspberries, cherry and strawberry flavours.  Fresh, floral and delicious.

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Serbal Pinot Noir

£15.50
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Slowly but surely, Argentine Pinot Noir starts to be taken seriously, and not only those from Patagonia. This delicious offering from Atamisque’s own Uco Valley vines fits the Serbal ethos perfectly – don’t spoil a lovely young wine with oak! – it is all about fruit and pure varietal character.

There is also an attractive plumpness and texture on the mid palate that you don’t often see in wines in this price range. There’s a way to go before the Argentines are up there with Marlborough et al, perhaps, but this definitely kicks your lower end Burgundy into the long grass. It simply could not be made from anything other than Pinot Noir and you cannot say that about a lot of South American examples.

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Lorca Fantasia Cabernet Sauvignon

£15.50
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100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Mauricio Lorca’s own vineyards in Vista Flores in the Uco Valley, 30% of which is lightly oaked. High density, high vertical vine training, just under 7,000 vines per hectare, approximately 2 bottles of wine per plant, this is the Fantasia philosophy.

Dark, brooding colour; a most intense nose reminiscent of black wine gums, sweet black plums and blueberry pie; the palate is softness itself, very smooth tannins and an impressive finish with hints of tobacco leaf and fresh mint.

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Serbal Chardonnay

£15.50
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Excellent unoaked Chardonnay from Serbal, this is such good value for money.  It shows considerable elegance, varietal character and poise for a wine at this price level, perhaps elucidating the French bias in this winery.

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Serbal Viognier

£15.50
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Why don’t more people drink and love Viognier? Perhaps it’s because so many examples from Europe, from France in particular – lovely though they can be – can sometimes tend towards a heaviness of texture and aromatic profile that limits the appetite for a second or third glass. Introducing Serbal, then, with a delicacy of touch throughout – subtle aromas of peach, lemon and white flowers, no oak, and a splendid zip of acidity on the palate. That ‘oiliness’ in the mouth that can sometimes feel a bit laboured is blissfully absent here, in a wine that is simultaneously exotic on the nose and vertical in the mouth.

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Bodega Atamisque Serbal Cabernet Franc

£16.95
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Bodega Atamisque was founded by Frenchman John Du Monceau and his wife Chantal, the grandaughter of a winemaker in Beaujolais.  Named after the name the land once possessed before it had been divided in the 20th Century.  With low yeilds, they aim to acheive typical classic varital wines.  

Cabernet Franc is not a widely seen variety in Mendoza, yet Atamisque have used it in blends and eventually started bottling it as a single varietal wine too.  Classic notes of fresh capsicum and pencil shavings on the nose, fresh and clean on the palate with delicious red berry fruits.

 

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Cara Sur Pergolas Tintas

£19.00
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The grapes used in this wine come from the ancient pergolas, typically found in the houses in the Calingasta Valley. It is a special spot in every garden where families gather under its shade to socialise. Every vintage time, families in their village bring the grapes from their houses and they use them as part of this wine. They are a nod to traditional peasant wines.

The wine is a multi-grape blend with varieties such as Cereza, Canela and Moscatel Tinto, fruit-driven and light in body.  Fermented with natural yeasts and matured on its lees for eight months. It has almost imperceptible tannins, with a soft and round texture, juicy with flavours and aromas of red berries. Cereza, the name of one variety, means “cherry” in the Spanish language which is a good clue to the style.

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Vallisto Torrontes

£19.50
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A Vallisto is a person from the valley, specifically from Cafayate Valley. And this project is about expressing the virtues of the truly unique terroirs in and around this beautiful, remote area of Argentina. It is also a rescue mission, giving voice to long-forgotten vineyards and lesser-known grape varieties.

Argentina’s flagship white varietal. Increasingly it is prized as a great partner to Thai and Peruvian cuisine and also as a delicious apéritif. This wine from Vallisto is a modern classic, retaining the scented nuances of Salta – arguably the true home of the grape – but offering pristine freshness in the mouth coupled with delightful length and poise.

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Matias Morcos Criolla Chica

£19.50
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The label depicts an ancient, rudimentary method of viticulture where old immigrant vines have essentially grown feral like ‘little trees’. The task of the grape picker becomes precarious and involves erecting wooden ladders for harvesting amidst wayward branches. This can still be seen in some far-flung pockets of eastern Mendoza as well as in Salta in the far north.

This wonderful example of Criolla Chica has a beautiful red berry ripeness with aromas of strawberries and cherries. It is light and soft in the mouth with juicy acidity and a delicious, delicate finish. Best served lightly chilled, it’s a real eye-opener and a great springboard into the lovely Criolla family swimming pool.

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Matias Morcos Naranjo Moscatel

£19.50
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This skin contact wine has everything we are looking for – the quirky complexity that can be found from this technique but also, crucially, fresh aromatics and varietal expression. Here’s a wine that will make you smile, with its aromas of candied orange peel and runny honey, and hints of exotic flowers; it almost seems to have a hint of botrytis on the nose. The wine is completely dry with flavours of dried citrus fruits and raisins, medium-bodied and floral on the end.

Utterly delicious. Made from Moscatel Rosado, which it is not officially recognised as such, yet. The wine is indeed a lovely rose pink colour in the glass. Definitely not orange!

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Vallisto Malbec

£19.50
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A bountiful nose redolent of black cherries, squishy plums, spices and wild herbs. Big and beautifully rounded on the palate with rich, ripe black fruit flavours, more spice and a long finish with hints of fresh fig, liquorice and vanilla.

This single vineyard Malbec from Viña San Luis represents pretty much everything you need to know about what makes Cafayate so good and so special. For those who like their Malbec painted with a decadent splash of inky purple fruit this delivers in spades.

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Vallisto Extremo Criolla

£19.95
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This wine, which is typically light in colour due to the pinkish colouerd skins, has the potential to blow your mind. Or, at the very least, introduce you a completely ‘new’ grape variety. It looks light but it packs a delicious punch with raunchy acidity and playful, quite pronounced tannins, almost like biting into a delicious red apple. The nose is lovely, almost exotic with charming floral notes, a subtle whiff of Turkish delight and ripe summer fruits.

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Catalpa Malbec

£21.00
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Fruit for this quite stunning Malbec comes from the very special sub-district of La Consulta in the Uco Valley at 1,200 metres above sea level, from vines more than 70 years old. La Consulta seems to produce a very specific fruit intensity, particularly on the nose, where there is a decidedly pure and sweet scent in the Malbec.  That same purity carries on to the palate in this beautifully integrated yet bold and robust Malbec. 12 months ageing in new French oak for 50% of the wine; the remainder is kept in stainless steel before blending.

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La Cayetana Criolla Blanca

£23.00
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An exciting and ground-breaking component of the new Argentine White Wine Revolution, this is a must-have for any truly adventurous wine list.  Criolla Blanca is part of the ancient Criolla family, an unruly ‘bunch’ of varietals that came to be as a result of the wild frolickings of Criolla Chica and Muscat d’Alexandria in centuries past. It makes up 90% of this wine and comes from 20 year old vines grown in the traditional Parral style in Lavalle, East Mendoza.

The remaining 10% is from Los Chacayes and is a mystifying blend of Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Semillon, which blended together is aged biologically under flor for two years (a la Jerez / Sherry). This component is added as a kind of ‘dosage’ when making the final blend and it offers a jaw-dropping level of intrigue and complexity that almost defies description. It is wonderful to see small producers like this exploring the winemaking history of Argentina – and Europe – to create wines that are genuinely unique and give us loads to talk about and enjoy.

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Manos Negras Artesano Semillon

£24.95
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Alejandro Sejanovich is arguably Argentina’s most knowledgeable viticulturist, having worked as vineyard director for Bodega Catena Zapata for 16 years, he pioneered high-altitude vineyard planting and conducted groundbreaking research on Mendoza Malbec clones.  With Manos Negras he combines his love of minerality, and altitude with a magical touch in the winery to produce some of the region’s most terroir-driven wines.

A gorgeous wine that displays a range of aromas from zesty citrus and stone fruits, all the way through to honeyed and floral notes. Harnessing great acidity and freshness from the altitude, as well as breadth and texture which makes this Semillon such a pleasure to drink in its youth, yet it will develop and evolve over time in bottle.

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Las Estelas Pinot Noir

£26.00
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Made in partnership with Diego Rosso, whose Pinot vines in Tunuyán are amongst the oldest in the Uco, this is clone 777 planted in the 1990s and made with the utmost respect for this most fickle of grapes. Everything is done by hand, with fermentation in a combination of concrete eggs and old barrels, fully de-stemmed with partial whole bunch. 100% of the wine is aged for 10 months in second use French oak.

On the nose, bounteous wild red fruits and the unmistakable whiff of forest floor; in the mouth silky tannins and fresh juicy fruit with a long finish. This is definitely New World Pinot Noir approaching its South American best and sees Argentina taking a seat at the top table. It bodes for amazing things to follow in future.

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Cara Sur Tinto

£30.00
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Cara Sur means South Face and refers to the treacherous mountain-scape that overlooks the vineyards.  The Bonarda grapes for this wine are grown at 1,500 metres above sea level at the Maggio Estate vineyard in Calingasta, where the vines are more than 50 years old and look more like small trees than vines.

This is a big, rich wine with a meaty like nose that gives way to herbaceous notes and sweet black fruits.  An impressive Bonarda with great concentration of fruit and amazing length.

 

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De Angeles Malbec

£32.00
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The grapes are only ever from De Angeles’ one small vineyard – ‘Viña 1924 Parcel 3’ – and the age of the vines partly explains the stunning concentration here; but don’t expect a ‘blockbuster’, this is elegance itself. These un-grafted vines are trained low and pruned double guyot with 7,200 plants per hectare and everything in the vineyard is geared around the preservation of tradition. Everything is done by hand… harvesting, de-stemming, berry selection.

Deep ruby red in colour, lovely aromas of plums and sweet red berries, silky-textured in the mouth with incredible length. Elegant yet intense, fresh, complex, superbly balanced and, best of all, slightly wild and untamed. Simply one of the best Malbecs we’ve ever tasted.

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Ver Sacrum Doña Mencia de los Andes

£33.00
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Mencia from Mendoza; who’d have thought it? Wine geeks will probably buy this just because of the intrigue – and they won’t be disappointed. This is highly aromatic with lots of dried flowers – almost garrigue-like notes – cherry-drop candy, almonds, a burst of black cherry and a hint of black olive. Ever so sensuous in the mouth with lovely tension and fruit expression, we suspect this wine will age beautifully.

This bears very little resemblance to Mencia from north-west Spain (and we are big fans of that too!); it has an elegance rarely found there without extensive bottle ageing and it seems that the earthiness is replaced here by fruit and flowers.

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