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News - 05.05.09

Tasting in United Kingdom

The 2nd Annual Super Reserve Tasting, organized by Wines of Argentina, was carried out in United Kingdom. The event gathered the best journalists, sommeliers and wine tasters of England. The best 42 wines were selected among 124 ones, and six of them were awarded.

Last April 27, Wines of Argentina organized the Annual Super Reserve Tasting for the second consecutive year. The event, carried out in Gaucho Restaurant in Piccadilly, gathered 50 people: 16 journalists, 11 buyers and 13 sommeliers, among other participants. The best 42 wines were selected among 124 ones, and six of them were awarded as the “winners”.

Last year this event gathered the same amount of professionals. However, James Forbes, director of Wines of Argentina in United Kingdom, said that the difference is that this time, the attendees’ quality was higher than in the previous years, “which shows the growing interest that Argentinian wines are arousing.”

This year, after finishing the wine tasting, a booklet was made based on all the attendees’ tasting. Wines were classified by regions and, in the case of Mendoza, by districts. Besides, they were classified according to their prices from the cheapest to the most expensive ones.

The director of Wines of Argentina in United Kingdom said that attendees were asked to make a brief comment about the tasted wines and to select the best three ones.

In this sense, according to the wine tasters, the three best wines were: Firstly, Chacra winery with the wine Cincuenta y Cinco 2008; secondly, Achával Ferrer with Finca Bella Vista Malbec 2007; and finally, Andeluna Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc 2005.

Then, after these wines, the three selected ones were: Trapiche Single Vineyard Viña Adriana Venturin Malbec 2006, Alta Vista Alto 2006 and Catena Zapata, Adrianna Vineyard Malbec 2005.

The event finished with a dinner where these wines were tasted.

Among the press, the following journalists were present: Tim Atkin MW (Observer/OLN), Anthony Rose (Independent), Jancis Robinson MW (FT and Jancis online), Neal Martin (Wine Advocate), Steven Spurrier, Quentin Johnson (Daily Mail/Matthew Jukes online), Andrew Neather (Evening Standard), as well as representatives of Decanter, Squaremeal and several freelance writers.

Forbes pointed out that “it was nice to see many off-trade importers such as Majestic, Direct Wines and Harvey Nichols Oddbins, among others, as well as organizations looking for new wines and some young importers from London based Independent Merchants”. She also explained that, generally, sommeliers come from thematic Argentinian restaurants, such as Garufa, Santa María del Buen Ayre and Buenos Aires; however, this year, professionals of Canning House, Sumosan, Zuma, Roka, and Bleeding Heart were present.

Journalists’ comments

A tasting feedback is very interesting. In this sense, James Forbes highlighted some of the most relevant comments made by the attendees.

According to the director of the entity, a constant criticism from the press was the excessive glass weight. “Among the attendees, sommeliers and buyers are much more tolerant and generally accept the Premium packaging weight. However, the press was very critical as regards this point.” I think it is possible to decrease the bottle weight keeping its style and shape, which is also maintained by Phil Crozier. We can find some examples in Luigi Bosca Gala products and Mauricio Lorca’s wines,” said Forbes.

Among all the comments made by the journalists, Forbes pointed out some of the most relevant ones.

Miriam McLachlan, from Zuma Restaurant, said that “in general, there were no many surprises. Apart from some oak concentration and alcohol in some bottles, all of them are of well known quality. I just want a bit more elegance.”

Furthermore, Alessandro Marcussan of Roka and Zuma highlighted that “style can be present even with less aged oak and new barrels. Elegance and balance really help, especially in restaurants.”

Julie Sheppard, from Squaremeal/Imbibe, emphasized the good wine selection characterized by a wide range of prices and regions. “Some wines have grown a lot. I think Argentina has really reached the age of majority,” pointed out Sheppard.

However, Rosemary George, from MW, highlighted that several wines are too fruity and dense. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of alcohol and oak. Where is the elegance?,” he asked.

Steven Spurrier said that he was really surprised by the price in both ways, but especially considering the most expensive ones. Furthermore, Anthony Rose pointed out: “It is necessary to improve.”

Thomas Woolrych, Senior Buyer from Laithwaites/Direct Wines stated that “some wines are amazing; however others are too ambitious as regards prices.” “I think they should offer better wines for 20 pounds or less, that would be good,” said Woolrych.

Clinton Cawood, from Imbibe Magazine, explained that, in general, he tasted high quality wines with good acidity and fruitness. However, he thinks that some of them were too expensive, even though there are some very good bargains. “There are different styles of Malbec and other varieties that were very interesting,” pointed out Cawood.

Finally, Katrina Alloway, freelance wine writer, made an excellent comment. She said that she found two magnificent Cabernet Franc. “I have never tasted wines like these ones,” emphasized Alloway.