Atkin: Terroir taking Argentine wines to ‘new level’

A sustained focus on terroir is taking Argentine winemaking to “a whole new level”, says Tim Atkin MW, who having visited the country every year since the 1990s believes the country is now beginning to fulfil its wine-producing potential.

Tim Atkin

Tim Atkin MW

Atkin made the comments ahead of the publication of his 2016 guide to Argentina, having tasted and rated 1,100 of the country’s wines.

Describing a “dynamic industry at an exciting point in its history”, Atkin’s report for first time features his pick of wines and winemakers of the year (listed below), alongside his top 100 Argentine wines of 2016.

For a second time, the report features Atkin’s controversial classification of Argentina’s wineries into First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth Growths and Crus Bourgeois, taking inspiration from the 1855 Bordeaux Classification.

“Having visited Argentina almost every year since the early 1990s, it’s thrilling to see the country beginning to fulfil its rich wine-producing potential”, said Atkin. “With its blend of talented new producers, regions and techniques, Argentina is really going places.”

While best known for its red grape varities, Atkin is optimistic about Argentina’s white offer, with an increasing number of impressive white wines emerging from Salta in the north to Patagonia in the south.

“I believe the greater focus on terroir is taking Argentina’s wines, both reds and whites, to a whole new level”, said Atkin. “Argentina can grow virtually any grape successfully”, he said. “As well as Malbec, there are now some stunning wines featuring lesser known varieties such as Torrontes, Tocai Friulano, Trousseau Noir and Bonarda, as well as the more familiar Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon.”

For more information on the report, visit

  • Winemaker of the year: Sebastián Zuccardi
  • Young winemaker of the year: Matìas Riccitelli
  • Winemaking legend: Pepe Galante
  • Red wine of the year: 2013 Zuccardi Finca Canal Uco, Paraje Altamira
  • White wine of the year: 2012 Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard White Bones Chardonnay, Uco Valley
  • Sparkling wine of the year: 2006 Cruzat Gran Millésime, Mendoza
  • Red wine discovery of the year: 2013 Buscado Vivo Muerte La Verdad, Gualtallary
  • White wine discovery of the year: 2014 Blanchard y Lurton, Uco Valley

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