On our last trip to Argentina in November 2014 we were truly gobsmacked by the progress being made on so many fronts, and by the number of new wines we could not resist importing.
We started in Rio Negro in Patagonia where we visited Bodega Agnello, producers of our Aniello 006 wines (confusing combination of nomenclature, granted). We had already been selling the 2013 wines - Malbec and Merlot - for a few months by this time and would have been very happy to simply approve the new vintages, but Santiago Bernasconi had this and much more in store for us. The 2014 Malbec and Merlot were great, a tad softer and rounder than the 13's but still very much in the same style, with freshness and lively red fruit flavours at the top of the agenda. What came as a wonderful surprise, however, was a sample from concrete egg of the very rare Trousseau vines at the property - 1 hectare planted in 1932! This wine was a revelation; pale garnet in colour and looking very much like mature Pinot Noir, with a beautifully floral nose (Trousseau is a cross of Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer). Even in this unfinished state the wine shows great promise and we have got our name on some just as soon as it is ready.
From Patagonia to Mendoza, and first stop the Michelini Brothers in Gualtallary, Uco Valley. You can see how passionate we are about these guys and their wines from the relevant pages on this site and this visit was a real highlight. From a new, small concrete winery which feels like a cross between Stonehenge and a spaceship, with loud classical music blaring and intermittent refrains of Led Zeppelin, we tasted lots of new wines and marvelled at the array of frankly mental new labels. We don't know how these guys keep upping the ante every year but they do. Amongst our amazing new finds look out for Diverso Syrah from Matias Michelini and JiJiJi Malbec Pinot Noir from brother Gerardo.
From there we went to La Consulta to visit the vineyards of Angulo Innocenti, highly respected grape growers turned wine producers and with vines so gorgeous, why not? Winemaker Karim Mussi is helping to steer this fledgling ship and the wines are great, so pure and honest in style with an abundance of sweet ripe fruit and tremendous concentration.
There were many more winery visits of course, and too many highlights to mention here but, as always, the trip was a joy and we have done our best to bring back wines that we feel show new Argentina in its finest light; full of energy, youth and innovation.