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News - 01.03.11

19 Argentine Wines Obtained Trophies at the Argentina Wine Awards 2011

The fifth edition of Argentina's most important international wine contest yielded 19 Trophies, 88 Gold Medals, 332 Silver Medals and 220 Bronze Medals for Argentine wines.

“Argentina is very vast and has a diversity infrequently found in other countries. The aim of our wine industry is to work on the basis of such diversity. People should open a bottle of Argentine wine and find quality; they should be in for a surprise and a pleasant experience,” said Alberto Grisú, president of Wines of Argentina, upon the closing of the last day of the Argentina Wine Awards. The contest, now in its fifth edition, took place in Mendoza, over the course of one week.

According to the experts, there are varieties that have great potential to excel like Malbec and Torrontés; and the different actors of the industry showed themselves to be open to criticism and suggestions with a view to growing more and more in the international market.

This edition of the contest, under the name of “World’s Best Sommeliers,” gathered the most prestigious international experts: Gilherme Correa, from Brazil; Élyse Lambert, from Canada; Roger Dagorn, from the US; Gerard Basset, from the UK and France; Sören Polonius, from Sweden; Hans Qu, from China; Andrés Rosberg, from Argentina; Isa Bal, from the UK; Marcos Flores Tlalpan, from Mexico; Totte Steneby, from Sweden; Paolo Basso, from Italy and Göran Klintberg, from Sweden. Argentina was represented by Daniel Pi, Roberto de la Mota, Víctor Marcantoni, Edgardo del Pópolo, Susana Balbo, Luis Cabral de Almeyda and Federico Galdeano. In Alberto Arizu’s words: “It has been a tremendous accomplishment to have 12 prestigious international sommeliers participating in this event; it is a great opportunity for Argentina to show the world the quality of its wines.” He went on to say that “the number of gold medals obtained is a further sign of the great progress our wines have made.”

Successful Wines Around the Globe

During the course of the AWA, the “Successful Wines & Styles 2011” seminar was held, this year under the theme of “Cabernet Sauvignon and aromatic whites that compete with Torrontés.” The participating judges agreed on one point in particular: the need to diversify. Although throughout the seminar speakers pointed out that more and more Argentine top quality wines are becoming available in the international market (in the United States, for example), and that Malbec has become a preferred varietal, just as Australian Shiraz used to be, some voices claimed that it might be dangerous to be very successful in only one sector and to concentrate on one variety exclusively. “Malbec will always remain the preferred varietal because its name is easy to pronounce and its quality is really outstanding,” stated one of the speakers, while others agreed that “Bonarda, as well as other novel varietals and blends, have good chances for successful promotion.”

The renowned judges offered very concrete recommendations and a very complete overview of the situation for red and white wines, the possibilities for blends and their preferences for pairings with food from different countries, based on the wide experience they have accrued from their direct contact with consumers in their capacity as sommeliers.

The seminar was an intensive learning experience for all attendees, as they had the chance to sort out a series of queries, particularly with respect to the Chinese market, which presents good opportunities for Argentine wine. Indeed, Chinese sommelier Hans Qu answered question after question since his arrival.

AWA 2011 Award-Winning Wines

As they evaluated the participating samples, the judges remarked on the evolution Argentine wines have experienced, especially those that are not so sophisticated, such as Torrontés, which they found “very attractive and with a new elegance gained over the years.” The specialists also expressed their surprise at the quality of wines such as Bonarda and Shiraz (particularly that from San Juan and the north), giving them more credit than they usually receive, and they ratified a well-known fact: the excellent capacity of expression of Malbec wines from these lands.

Meet the 19 Argentine wines that obtained a Trophy – the highest distinction awarded by the judges – at the international Argentina Wine Awards 2011 wine contest:

Trophies

Sauvignon blanc

Category: Sauvignon blanc >13.00 <20.00

Wine: Doña Paula Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Winery: Doña Paula

Torrontés

Category: Torrontés >6.99 <13.00

Wine: Callia Reserve Torrontes 2010

Winery: Bodegas Callia

Chardonnay

Category: chardonnay >13.00 <20.00

Wine: Xumek Chardonnay 2010

Winery: Xumek, Santa Sylvia Sa

Bonarda

Category: bonarda >6.99 <13.00

Wine: Argento Bonarda 2009

Winery: The Argento Wine Company

Cabernet sauvignon

Category: cabernet sauvignon >6.99 <13.00

Wine: Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Winery: Kaiken S.A.

Cabernet sauvignon

Category: cabernet sauvignon >13.00 <20.00

Wine: La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Winery: Bodegas Santa Ana

Cabernet sauvignon

Category: cabernet sauvignon >30.00 <50.00

Wine: Bramare Appellation Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Winery: Viña Cobos Sa

Syrah

Category: syrah >20.00 <30.00

Wine: Trivento Golden Reserve Syrah 2008

Winery: Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos

Syrah

Category: syrah >30.00 <50.00

Wine: Las Moras Gran Shiraz Zonda Valley 2006

Winery: Finca Las Moras

Malbec

Category: malbec >13.00 <20.00

Wine: Broquel Malbec 2009

Winery: Trapiche

Malbec

Category: malbec >20.00 <30.00

Wine: Punto Final Reserva Malbec 2008

Winery: Bodegas y Viñedos Renacer SA

Malbec

Category: malbec >30.00 <50.00

Wine: Bramare Vineyard Designation Rebon Malbec 2008

Winery: Viña Cobos Sa

Malbec

Category: malbec <50.00

Wine: Lindaflor Malbec 2006

Winery: Monteviejo S.A.

Red blend

Category: red blend >13.00 <20.00

Wine: Trivento Amado Sur 2009

Winery: Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos

Red blend

Category: red blend >20.00 <30.00

Wine: Trisagio 2006

Winery: Benvenuto de La Serna

Red blend

Category: red blend <30.00 <50.00

Wine: Caro 2007

Winery: Bodegas Caro S.A.

Red blend

Category: red blend <50.00

Wine: Felix Blend 2007

Winery: Felix Lavaque

Sweet/dessert

Category:  sweet/dessert >13.00 <20.00

Wine: Famiglia Late Harvest 2007

Winery: Valentin Bianchi SACIF

Sweet/dessert

Category:  sweet/dessert <20.00 <30.00

Wine: Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes 2009

Winery: Dominio Del Plata Winery