Sunday, 26 April 2009

Argentina Value

The Country

Argentina is the 5th largest wine producing country in the world kicked off by the Spanish colonisation of the Americas in the 1500’s who introduced viticulture to the country. Red wine production accounts for nearly 60% of all Argentine wine. The high temperatures of most regions contribute to soft, ripe tannins and can result in high alcohol levels. The growing season in Argentina usually last from budbreak in October to harvest beginning sometime in February.

The Region

Around 70% of Argentina’s wine production is made in the region of Mendoza. This district is by far the dominant wine province with an array of varietals and many different regions within it making the province one of the top wine tourism destinations in Argentina. Located in the west of the country, the Mendoza wine region is flanked by the long chain of the Andes Mountains, often visible from the vineyards, which separates it from the wine regions of Chile. As of 2008, the Mendoza region contained more than 356,000 acres (144,000 hectares) of planted vineyards-producing nearly two-thirds of the entire Argentine wine production.

Under Argentine wine laws, if a grape name appears on the wine label, at least 80% of the wine must be made up of that grape variety. In this instance Luigi Bosca is using 100% tempranillo despite Malbec upholding Mendoza’s longest tradition and reputation for fine wine. Tempranillo (known locally as Tempranilla) often undergoes carbonic maceration, a wine making process used to achieve the fruity and fresh wine of Beaujolais in France.

The Producer

Luigi Bosca’s history begins with the Arizu family and their 100 years of wine making experience. The Arizu’s owned their first vineyard in the early 1900’s with European vines. These were cultivated by highly skilled English workmen who operated back then, the pinnacle in viticultural technology, the steam-powered plowing machine. Vintage after vintage skills were past through the generations of Arizu’s when the family commercialised into Luigi Bosca who's wines entered the international market in 1984. Today Luigi Bosca makes three levels of wine; The value entry level 'La Linda' which I've tasted below, 'Core' followed by 'Gala'.


The tertiary period brought alluvial deposits to the soil which combines loose sand over clay and pebbles on the 32 hectares at 960m above sea level. The terrain has good inclination which ensures the drainage of melted snow transported via canals and ditches for irrigation. Luigi Bosca has decided to adopt some, but not all, of the principles of biodynamic cultivation aiming to improve the life of the vines and surroundings so they can defend themselves against disease. They observe lunar cycles for some of the varieties so the maturation, planting and harvest coincides with the lunar cycle so as to improve the fruit.

The Wine

Finca LA LINDA - Tempranillo 2006 – Luigi Bosca - Mendoza Argentina

Nice deep colour, firm legs on the glass, Smells a little hot on the nose (only 13.5% on the label though), showing clear fruit maybe a little unripe, good initial attack on the taste buds bringing fresh plum fruit, present acidity that cuts from the front of your pallet straight through down to the middle then round the sides. Finish reveals baked dark fruit, not especially long, good soft tannins, almost velvety in texture but not quite, very slight astringency. Id have another glass! Decanted for 3 hours. Good value at between £6 to £8.


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