Alta Vista Alto 2015
This is the top cuvee from Patrick d’Aulan-owned project in Mendoza, who is no stranger to the pedigreed wine world. His family has been the owner of Champagne house Piper Heidsieck for nearly a century and half before it was sold in 1998. The same year, he launched his Argentine wine project – Alta Vista in Uco Valley, Mendoza. The goal of the project is to use an optimal combination of Argentine knowledge or Malbec and French winemaking philosophy. Their top wine, Alto, a Malbec dominated blend, claims to be Argentina’s first single vineyard wine using old vine Malbecs first planted in 1923 in the Las Compuertas district. Made only in best vintages, the 2015 vintage is a blend of 88% Malbec and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, and shows characters of a cool vintage, with fresh acidity and constraint.
Available in Hong Kong via HK Man Shing International for HKD 600.
Adrianna Vineyard White Stones Chardonnay 2018
Arguably one of the best Chardonnays made from Argentina today. This came from a select of 27 rows from a 2.5ha parcel within the high-altitude Adrianna Vineyard at Gualtallary district of Tupungato region in Uco Valley. The name came from the oval shaped large white stones found in the vineyard, deposited from ancient times when it was a river bed. The wine is ethereal, elegant and full of mouth-watering freshness. A triumph of Chardonnay, it is unfiltered and unrefined. Alcohol level is only at 12.8% ABV.
Available in Hong Kong via Watson’s Wine for HKD 798
Zuccardi Aluvional Gualtallary Malbec 2016
Another renowned winery from Mendoza’s Gualtallary district in Tupungato in Uco Valley, Zuccardi’s Aluvional Malbec ranks among the best Malbecs in Argentina. Planted on alluvional soils formed in the alluvial fan of the Las Tunas river, the vines benefited from good drainage and abundant calcium carbonate deposits. Marked by El Nino phenomenon, the 2016 vintage shows lower alcohol than usual, higher acidity and more intense aromatic expression. This is a 100% Malbec, aged in unroasted 500 liter barrels and concrete tanks to impart less oak influence on the final wine.
Available in Hong Kong via Watson’s Wine for HKD 698.
Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC 2018
This is one of the first Argentine wines with DOC recognitions. In 1989 Luigi Bosca collaborated actively to create the Lujan de Cuyo DOC (Denomination of Origin), the only DOC established in Argentina. To be labelled DOC, a wine must adhere to strict regulations: wines must be made from single vineyard with vines average 50 years or older and must undergo at least 12 months of ageing in barrique. Thus Malbec DOC was born. This silky Malbec was made from a single vineyard called Finca la Linda in Lujan de Cuyo- Maipu, which sits at an elevation of 960 meters. Vines average 70 years and soils here are well drained and shallow based with a mix of limestone and silt. The resulting wine from 2018 vintage is voluptuous, bright and expressive. Good value too.
Available in Hong Kong via Amorosso Fine Wine for HKD 222.
Familia Schroeder Saurus Barrel Fermented Pinot Noir 2017
This is a winery founded by German immigrate Hermann Heinz Theodor Schroeder in 1927 when he settled down in southern Argentina’s Patagonia with his family. The name ‘Saurus’ means ‘dinosaur’ in Spanish and came from the fact that during the construction of the winery’s building, fossilized bones of a large dinosaur were unearthed. It turns out the fossils become to a new species of dinosaur lived 75 million years ago. It is then aptly named Panamericansaurus Schroederi, in recognition of the family contribution to the excavation works. Hand picked, the Pinot Noir is aged 6 months in both French and American oak barrels. A fresh and approachable Pinot that shows abundant red fruits. 22,000 bottles made.
Available in Hong Kong via Amarosso Fine Wines for HKD 186.
Casarena Lauren’s Single Vineyard Malbec 2017
CASARENA (translated as “Sand House”) is named after the earth-toned stucco exterior of the winery located on Brandsen Street, in the heart of Perdriel district in Lujan de Cuyo Region. Founded in 2007, the winery makes three different wine ranges, 505, Casarena, Ramanegra and also crafts its top tier single vineyard wines, one of which is the Casarena Lauren’s Single Vineyard Malbec. The grapes came from a single parcel in cool-climate Agrelo and went through a double selection of clusters and berries. Aged 12 months in new French oak barrels. Fresh, vibrant, the wine shows plenty of floral notes, very elegant and pleasant with silky tannins and good structure.
Available in Hong Kong through Links Concept for HKD 300.
Monteviejo Lindaflor Malbec 2013
Monteviejo winery is owned by Henri Parent, who is also the owner of Chateau La Violette, Chateau Le Gay and Chateau Montviel in Pomerol. Located at the foothills of the Andes, next to Vista Flores, south of Mendoza, the winery spans 130 hectares at an altitude between 1,000 and 1,200 meters above sea level. The wines are made by Marcelo Pelleriti who for nearly two decades also oversees winemaking at Parent family’s Bordeaux estates. The Lindaflor Malbec shows notes of complex red fruits, spices and violets. Deep and fruity on the palate. It’s aged between 16 and 22 months in French barrels (60% and 40% used).
Available in Hong Kong through Wine Culture for HKD 460.
Susana Balbo Brioso 2018
With a career in wine for over 30 years, Susana Balbo is one of the most celebrated and accomplished winemakers in Argentina. Being Argentina’s first female oenologist to serving three times as president of Wines of Argentina, she is also an entrepreneur and a congresswoman. She founded her namesake winery in 1999 in Lujan de Cuyo’s Agrelo and today makes four ranges of wines – Criso, Singature series, Nosotros and Ben Marco. The Susana Balbo Brioso is from her signature series. A blend of 43% Cabernet, 26% Mablec, 17% Cabernet Franc and 14% Petit Verdot, the wine is deep and complex, with notes of spices, wild herbs, plum and dark berries.
Available in Hong Kong via Altaya Wines for HKD 349.
Trapiche Iscay 2017
Jointly crafted by Marcelo Belmonte, agricultural engineer, Daniel Pi and Sergio Casé, Trapiche winery’s Chief Winemaker, this Argentine wine stands as an icon for Trapiche. A blend of Malbec sourced from the winery’s vineyards at Gualtallary at 1300 meters elevation and Cabernet Franc from Altamira in Uco Valley, the wine combines the elegance, power of Malbec with the structure of Cabernet Franc. The result is a wine with great concentration, elegance and complexity. The wine is aged for at 12 months in French barrels and another year in bottle before release.
Available in Hong Kong via Links Concept for HKD 458.
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2019
Argentino is an instant icon wine from storied Catena Zapata winery. The label itself is a conversation piece. It charts the epic tale of the noble Malbec grape, its history in France and rise in Argentina through four female figures. This is a wine made from pre-Phylloxera old vines from Catena Zapata Family vineyards, Nicasia and Angelica. No matter what the vintage, this 100% Malbec is really more than 100 years old. Deep purple, the wine shows good tension and precision in winemaking. The wine is textured and tasty, fresh and vibrant. Rich and deep. Roughly 25,000 bottles made.
Available in Hong Kong via Watson’s Wine at HKD 880.
Writing: Shreyansh Durgesh and Natalie Wang