News - 08.11.11
Pinot Noir, Torrontés and Cabernet S.: Varieties that Surprise
By the end of October, a group of sommeliers and wine buyers from prestigious UK restaurants and wine shops came to Argentina as part of a program carried out by Wines of Argentina
By the end of October, a group of sommeliers and wine buyers from prestigious UK restaurants and wine shops came to Argentina as part of a program carried out by Wines of Argentina and aimed at sharing with visitors certain characteristics that have lent prestige to our country such as its gastronomy, its wide range of wines and the progress achieved over the last years. The program is funded by the Federal Council of Investment (CFI).
The group visited Buenos Aires, Neuquén, Río Negro and Mendoza. The visitors were: Alastair Marshall (from Adnams Southwold), Igor Sotric (Head Sommelier at China Tang in The Dorchester, London), Roberto Tavoloni (General Manager at Casa Malevo restaurant), Giovanni Gallucio (from Soho House) and Nicholas Clerc (Wine Manager at D&D Restaurants).
Among the activities included in the program were various seminars on the different wine regions of Argentina – including visits to wineries –, wine tastings, meetings with winery owners and dinners.
Alastair Marshall, one of the buyers, said to Wines of Argentina: “This has been a wonderful trip, with a wide range of activities that we have enjoyed a lot. This is my first trip to Argentina and it really met my expectations.”
Sommelier Igor Sotric also felt satisfied with the experience: “This is an incredible country and Argentine people are wonderful. I especially liked Chacras de Coria. The wines I tasted were excellent.”
Regarding the evolution of Argentine wines, Marshall said: “Argentine wines have experienced enormous change and their quality has improved, which is key to enter the UK market. Argentina is famous for its Malbec. After the variety is well-positioned in our market, there will be room for other varieties like Torrontés. I was pleasantly surprised by Torrontés and I think it’s the second most important varietal in the country.”
Just like Marshall praised Torrontés, Sotric preferred Pinot Noir from Patagonia, and the blends including Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. “Those are grapes with an enormous potential. I work with a portfolio of 600 hundred wines, 16 of which are Argentine wines. And I’m sure that after this trip I’m going to include twice as much Argentine wines on my list. There is a great quantity and variety of wines, and I always prefer to work with small, independent wineries,” he concluded.
Finally, Alastair Marshall expressed enthusiasm about the openness of Argentine wineries towards the international market. “I hope I can get some Argentine wines by the spring season in Europe. I have the support of a group of UK importers, so I guess it will be possible.”
Market information (Caucasia)
Exports between January and August 2011 amounted to USD FOB 30,374,550, representing a 9.1% increase in relation to the same period of last year. The exports of 9-liter cases reached USD 1,022,405, with an average price of USD FOB 29.71 per case, showing a 15.48% increase with respect to the same period of 2010.