This is our first report on Argentina’s 2017 vintage. The wines reviewed here from Aniello, Ricardo Santos, and Tercos are youthful wines that have seen only a modicum of oak aging. As a result, they are fresh and vibrant and meant for early, easy drinking. The Aniello wines come from the Rio Negro valley in Patagonia, which we visited on our last trip to Argentina. The Ricardo Santos wines are from Mendoza, Argentina’s winegrowing center. These wines are imported by Global Vineyard Importers of Berkeley CA.
Aniello 2017 006 Chardonnay Riverside Estate Alto Valle del Rio Negro Patagonia ($17) 90 This is a fresh and lively Chardonnay showing orchard fruit complemented by touches of white stone fruit and yellow citrus. It’s largely unwooded with less than 10% of the wine seeing oak and malo. A nicely balanced and refreshing wine that offers excellent value.
Aniello 2017 006 Pinot Noir Riverside Estate Alto Valle del Rio Negro Patagonia ($17) 89 Like the Chardonnay, the Aniello Pinot Noir offers outstanding freshness. It opens with alluring scents of plum, raspberry, and rose petals that carry over to a nicely balanced palate notable for its length and bright acidity. Hand harvested, fermented in small concrete vats (30% whole cluster), and partly oak aged.
Ricardo Santos 2017 Semillon Luján de Cuyo Mendoza ($16) 91 Golden yellow. The Ricardo Santos Semillon always impresses. It offers a weighty, complex nose of acacia, honey and olive. On the palate, it’s full and absolutely packed with flavor, excellent balancing acidity and a lingering finish. An astounding wine for the price, especially considering it’s made from 72-year-old vines!
Tercos 2017 Bonarda Mendoza ($14) 88 Semi-opaque ruby red. Showing attractive spicy plum, wild blackberry, and savory scents, the Tercos Bonarda, made by the Ricardo Santos family, offers a vibrant, fruit forward, earthy palate with brisk acidity and nice firm tannins. This is a wine that improves in the glass, so give this wine some time to breathe, or, better yet, decant it to allow it to open up and give a fuller expression.
Tercos 2017 Sangiovese Mendoza ($14) 90 Medium dark red. Showing a vibrant nose of dark cherry with bright notes of black raspberry and pomengranate, the Tercos Sangiovese offers a good New World expression of this Italian variety. It’s full in the mouth with excellent acidity, medium density, and a long flavorful finish. Outstanding for the price.