One slightly depressing note from the otherwise interesting Wines of Argentina tasting earlier this week. Several producers and importers mentioned that it was an uphill struggle to sell Chardonnay from Argentina – or Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Torrontés for that matter. It seems everyone wants Malbec and nothing else. I have nothing against Malbec but Argentina offers so much more. Chardonnay from Argentina can be very good and very keenly priced. Its local indigenous grape variety Torrontés produces some very interesting wines, and, included below is a Sémillon from Bodegas Mendel, one of my favorite white wines.

So instead of more Malbec, five great white wines from Argentina.

La Linda Chardonnay 2022 Luigi Bosca, Mendoza

La Linda Chardonnay 2022 Luigi Bosca, Mendoza
La Linda is part of the Luigi Bosca stable of wines. An unoaked Chardonnay with fresh tropical fruits aplenty along with peaches and nectarines. Opulent but balanced nicely with good acidity. Very good value for money.

€13.95 and Mary B’s Off Licence, Arklow.

Bodegas Salentein Barrel Selection Chardonnay 2021, Uco Valley

An award winner at the Noffla awards last year, and it is easy to see why; floral aromas, rich, textured stone fruits, with subtle notes of vanilla and spice. The oak is very deftly handled and there is plenty of refreshing acidity. This has been retailing for €20 over the last year and offered great value for money. It still does at €22.

€20-€22 – Widely available in independent off-licences including Barnhill Stores, Dalkey; The CoachHouse D14; Parcel Concierge, Dunshaughlin; McHughs, D5; Baggot Street Wines.

Bodegas Mendel Sémillon 2021, Mendoza

This has been one of the greatest white wines of Argentina for many years. It has less oak than in the past, a pity in my view, but it is still provides a wonderful combination of lush fruit and lightly toasty oak. White flower aromas, rich lightly honeyed ripe stone fruits, toasted hazelnuts and lime zest with a long dry finish. Keep a few years of drink now with creamy chicken dishes.

€22.50 – €26 from Wines on the Green, D2; McHugh’s, D5; Martin’s, D3.

Bodegas Atamisque Chardonnay 2021, Tupungato, Uco Valley

Atamisque make a range of great wines, marked by an elegance, concentration and structure that suggests they will age well. The Chardonnay is a classic, linear and tight with aromas of lemon curd and herbs. The palate is fresh and lively with generous pineapple and apple fruits, subtle oak and a persistent dry finish. Great wine, with more than a nod towards Burgundy.

€32 from Mitchell & Son, Glasthule and IFSC; Deveneys Dundrum; Redmonds, D6: D-Six off licence, D6; The Winehouse, Trim; Pete’s Wine Shop, ~D5; Nectar Wines, D14; Corkscrew, D2.

Bodegas Catena Zapata Alta Historic Rows Chardonnay 2020, Mendoza

Made from grapes grown in two vineyards, both at over 1,200 metres altitude. Fermented and aged in French oak, with partial malolactic fermentation. This is an impressive wine with subtle aromas of smoky oak and acacia blossoms; it explodes with flavour on the palate; the oak is there but never dominates, the fruit is elegant but intense, finishing very long and dry.

€35 from La Touche, Greystones; 64wine, Glasthule; Deveney’s, D14; Corkscrew, D2; Kelly’s, Clontarf;

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