Tim Atkin MW: Argentina’s winery owners are ‘pushing viticultural boundaries’

While Argentina’s wine industry was once concentrated in a few key regions like Mendoza, producers are now pushing boundaries by reviving forgotten terroirs and unearthing new ones, Tim Atkin MW has said.

Atkin, who has visited the region every Febuary since the 1990s, made the comments ahead of the publication of his 2019 guide to Argentina, having tasted and rated 1,500 of the country’s wines from 292 producers.

It’s worth noting that, in the three years since Atkin’s fifth report was published in 2016, Atkin has added a further 400 wines to his Argentina report, which he claims is largest and most comprehensive yet.

The MW said that, while Malbec still reins supreme when it comes to the country’s wine output, the lesser-known variety Criolla is “enjoying a revival in fortunes, as part of a re-evaluation of Argentina’s Spanish past.”

Argentina’s estate owners, he said, are “pushing viticultural boundaries in exciting new (or rediscovered) terroirs such as La Carrera, Uspallata, Chubut, El Espinillo, Pareditas and the Quebrada de San Lucas.

While best known for its red grape varieties, Atkin is optimistic about Argentina’s white offer, with an increasing number of “diverse and exciting” styles being made, including more blends and “some exceptional Chardonnays.

The report also includes a list of winemakers and wines worth paying attention to this year:

Winemaker of the Year: Alejandro Vigil of Catena Zapata and El Enemigo

Young winemaker of the Year: Mauricio Vegetti Lui of Gauchezco and Lui Wines

Winemaking Legend: Raúl Dávalos Senior of Bodega Tacuil

White Wine of the Year: 2017 Catena Adrianna Vineyard White Bones Chardonnay, Gualtallary

Rosé of the Year : 2018 El Esteco Blanc de Noirs Rosado, Catamarca

Sparkling Wine of the Year: NV Cruzat Single Vineyard Finca La Dama, Uco Valley

Sweet Wine of the Year: 2017 Terrazas de los Andes Grand Terroir Petit Manseng, Uco Valley

Red Wine Discovery of the Year: Estancia Uspallata 2017

White Wine Discovery of the Year: 2016 Micheliny I Mufatto Propósitos Chenin Blanc, Villa Seca

Sparkling Wine Discovery of the Year: NV Piatelli Brut Nature, Uco Valley

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