Icon wines: set­ting the bar

A se­lect band of pro­duc­ers in Chile and Ar­gentina of­fer wines ac­knowl­edged as the pin­na­cle of what’s pos­si­ble in their lo­ca­tions. Yet cult sta­tus still has to be earned, says An­thony Rose

Decanter - - ICON WINES - An­thony Rose is a reg­u­lar De­can­ter con­trib­u­tor and writes a wine col­umn for The In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per

What’s A South Amer­i­can icon? Easy: a wine that comes wrapped in pretty tis­sue pa­per. Yes, such a su­per­fi­cial view is, of course, non­sense, yet the i-word is bandied about so freely that overuse can all too eas­ily lead to a de­val­u­a­tion of the coinage.

Al­most by def­i­ni­tion, any wine that has icon sta­tus con­ferred on it by its own pro­ducer is not an icon. As Achaval Fer­rer’s Julio Las­martres puts it, the sta­tus of icon is ‘not some­thing that you can name by your own judge­ment, but a recog­ni­tion which can only be given to you by cus­tomers, trade and press’.

There can be many in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the ex­tent to which a wine is an icon. Ac­cord­ing to Liv-ex direc­tor Justin Gibb, for in­stance: ‘Liv-ex in­dices only track prices for wines with sig­nif­i­cant se­condary mar­ket ac­tiv­ity, and [south Amer­i­can] wines have not yet achieved this.’ Rat­ing wines ac­cord­ing to three cat­e­gories – qual­ity, brand strength and eco­nomic per­for­mance – Wine Lis­ter rates Chile’s top wine as Al­ma­viva, fol­lowed by Don Mel­chor and five oth­ers. Ar­gentina’s num­ber one spot goes to Ni­colás Catena Zapata, fol­lowed by Che­val des An­des and a fur­ther eight af­ter that.

An in­di­vid­ual ex­pres­sion of ter­roir is the sine qua non of an icon, and along with it, le­git­i­macy, pres­tige, longevity and recog­ni­tion by the mar­ket, although the weight­ing to be ap­plied to each may vary. Lead­ing by ex­am­ple, Catena has forged its icon sta­tus in Ar­gentina thanks to the re­mark­able vi­sion of its owner, Ni­colás Catena. Much the same can be said of Ed­uardo Chadwick’s Viñedo Chadwick in Chile. seña with Mon­davi, Al­ma­viva with Mou­ton, Clos Apalta with Marnier La­pos­tolle and Che­val des An­des with Che­val Blanc are the high­est-class ex­pres­sions of the dove­tail­ing of two cul­tures.

The con­sis­tent track record of Chile’s Don Mel­chor and Casa Real con­fers a gen­uine, home-grown le­git­i­macy on th­ese two stal­warts of the Chilean wine in­dus­try. In the cases of Ar­gentina’s Noemía, Chacra and Achaval Fer­rer, an an­cient vine­yard, cou­pled with Euro­pean pres­tige, has re­sulted in re­mark­able wines. By corol­lary, the rel­a­tive youth of Paul hobbs’ Co­bos Mal­bec Chañares Vine­yard and Zuc­cardi’s Piedra In­finita gives them both icon-in-the-mak­ing sta­tus.

‘An in­di­vid­ual ex­pres­sion of ter­roir is the sine qua non of an icon’

CHILE Al­ma­viva

First vin­tage 1996 Blend Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, Carmenere, Caber­net Franc, Petit Ver­dot, Mer­lot

Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 11,670-15,000 cases

Al­ma­viva cel­e­brated its of­fi­cial 20th birthday this year, af­ter Baroness Philip­pine de Roth­schild and Viña Concha y Toro’s Ed­uardo Guil­isasti de­cided to cre­ate an ex­cep­tional Maipo Val­ley red from 40ha (hectares) of Bordeaux va­ri­eties (now 60ha) planted in 1978 in the poor, grav­elly soils of Puente Alto. The mod­er­at­ing in­flu­ence of the An­des here al­lows the grapes to main­tain their fresh­ness as they ripen slowly and late.

Hitch­ing France’s savoir-faire and tra­di­tions to Chile’s nat­u­ral re­sources, a win­ery was built for Al­ma­viva a decade later. With se­lec­tive har­vests in mi­cro-zones and im­proved tech­nol­ogy at re­cep­tion, the fo­cus has been on greater el­e­gance and fi­nesse. ‘We are aware of the po­ten­tial for abuse of the word “icon”,’ says Al­ma­viva’s head, Michel Friou, ‘so we pre­fer to bor­row the French con­cept of grand cru.’ Baron Philippe de Roth­schild & Concha y Toro, Al­ma­viva, Puente Alto, Maipo, Chile 2014 95 £80-£93.33 Al­tus, Berry Bros & Rudd, Fine & Rare, Frazier’s, He­donism, Jer­oboams, Laith­waite’s, Mil­lésima, Peni­s­tone Wine Cel­lars The se­duc­tively con­cen­trated cas­sis fruit is framed by stylish oak and such suave, silky tan­nins that it’s al­most ready now. Drink 2018-2030 Al­co­hol 14.5%

Clos Apalta

First vin­tage 1997 Blend Mer­lot, Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, Carmenere, Petit Ver­dot

Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 2,500-12,000 cases

It took just a few har­vests be­fore the Marnier La­pos­tolle fam­ily re­alised the po­ten­tial of the Apalta ter­roir af­ter found­ing its Colch­agua win­ery in 1994. An ex­cel­lent 1997 vin­tage led to a spe­cial bot­tling, and Clos Apalta was born. The grapes are sourced from two blocks of old Carmenere and Caber­net Sauvi­gnon planted in 1920 and 1940, along with Mer­lot planted on hill­side vine­yards from 1997. In 2005 Clos Apalta was given its own grav­ity-flow win­ery, with hand-destem­ming and fer­men­ta­tion in small French oak vats. In 2008, the Apalta vine­yard was cer­ti­fied or­ganic and in 2011 bio­dy­namic. ‘The phi­los­o­phy is sim­ple,’ says Charles de Bour­net Marnier-La­pos­tolle: ‘to make world-class wines us­ing our French know-how of gen­er­a­tions in wine and spirit pro­duc­tion, to­gether with the unique Chilean ter­roir.’ Casa La­pos­tolle, Clos Apalta, Apalta, Colch­agua Val­ley, Chile 2014 94 £ 56 Fine & Rare

With cedar and liquorice spicy aro­mas, this sup­ple-tex­tured, richly con­cen­trated red is fleshed out by pow­er­ful, cas­sis op­u­lence framed by a reprise of pol­ished French oak and sup­ported by a mus­cu­lar struc­ture. Drink 2018-2027 Alc 15%

Viñedo Chadwick

First vin­tage 1999 Blend 100% Caber­net Sauvi­gnon Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 400-1,000 cases

Viñedo Chadwick springs from what was once a polo field set up by Ed­uardo Chadwick’s fa­ther, Al­fonso, on an old ter­race of the Maipo river. Put to al­ter­na­tive use, the 15ha at Puente Alto were planted in 1992 to the usual Bordeaux sus­pects. Af­ter fer­men­ta­tion in stain­less steel, the wine is aged for 22 months in French oak and Stockinger foudres.

Frus­trated by a lack of recog­ni­tion, Ed­uardo or­gan­ised the Ber­lin Tast­ing on 23 Jan­uary 2004: a mile­stone for Chilean fine wine. Led by Steven Spurrier and René Gabriel, the panel vin­di­cated Chadwick by plac­ing Viñedo Chadwick 2000 first and Seña 2001 sec­ond, above 2000 Lafite, 2001 Mar­gaux and 2000 La­tour (see Wine Leg­ends, p146).

Go to Viña Er­razuriz to­day and you can visit The Ber­lin Room, a shrine to Ber­lin, and to polo. ‘It’s the mar­ket de­mand that has po­si­tioned this wine as the most ex­pen­sive Chilean of­fer­ing,’ says Ed­uardo Chadwick.

Er­razuriz, Viñedo Chadwick, Puente Alto,

Maipo Val­ley, Chile 2015 94 £ 285 (2014) Avail­able via UK im­porter Hatch Mans­field Tinged with clas­sic Maipo herb, mint and cedary oak, there’s a sinewy tex­ture about this bright, Caber­net-based blend with its en­thu­si­as­ti­cally ado­les­cent mul­berry and cherry fruit qual­ity and pep­pery un­der­tones. Drink 2017-2027 Alc 13.5%

Don Mel­chor

First vin­tage 1987 Blend Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, Caber­net Franc (in vin­tages since 2009)

Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 13,500 cases Ask any wine lover on the streets of Santiago for the name of a great Chilean red and chances are they’ll come up with Concha y Toro’s much-loved Don Mel­chor. Twenty-eight vin­tages un­der wine­maker En­rique Ti­rado’s belt tes­tify to one of the old­est sto­ries of any South Amer­i­can icon. Planted at 650m at Puente Alto, Don Mel­chor vine­yard’s 127ha are zoned for their var­ied ex­pres­sion of the ter­roir into six parcels of Caber­net Sauvi­gnon and one of Caber­net Franc, with a lit­tle Mer­lot and Petit Ver­dot. The cool­ing in­flu­ence of

‘Mar­ket de­mand has po­si­tioned Viñedo Chadwick as the most ex­pen­sive Chilean of­fer­ing’ Ed­uardo Chadwick

the An­des, with its wide day-night os­cil­la­tions in tem­per­a­ture, com­bines with the freedrain­ing, grav­elly, silty soils of the Maipo river’s third al­lu­vial ter­race. The re­sult is even ripen­ing, pure fruit, fresh acid­ity and fine, bal­anced tan­nins. Concha y Toro, Don Mel­chor, Puente Alto, Maipo Val­ley, Chile 2014 92 £60 Har­rods Vanillin oak and dark cherry in an op­u­lent mouth­ful of cas­sis and black cherry rich­ness. Sinewy tan­nins mod­er­ated by a re­fresh­ing coun­ter­point of acid­ity, just start­ing to soften. Drink 2017-2027 Alc 14.5%


First vin­tage 1995 Blend Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, Carmenere, Mal­bec, Petit Ver­dot, Caber­net Franc Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 4,000-6,000 cases A joint ven­ture be­tween Viña Er­razuriz and Robert Mon­davi in 1995, Seña be­came wholly owned by Ed­uardo Chadwick’s Er­razuriz in 2005. His be­lief in Seña as a ter­roir wine led him to in­tro­duce bio­dy­namic viti­cul­ture in the same year. A Bordeaux-style blend, Seña is sourced from a 43ha moun­tain vine­yard in the Aconcagua Val­ley. Pre­cisely mon­i­tored for op­ti­mum har­vest­ing date, the vine­yard is char­ac­terised by warm sunny days and cool nights, hence ideal ripen­ing con­di­tions for a long hang-time of nearly 140 days. Mat­u­ra­tion for 22 months in French oak and Stockinger foudres mod­er­ates the unique ex­pres­sion of Aconcagua’s in­ten­sity with the de­sired tex­tu­ral fi­nesse. Chadwick’s se­ries of ver­ti­cal blind tast­ings held around the world ce­mented Seña’s place in the Chilean hall of fame. Er­razuriz, Seña, Aconcagua Val­ley, Chile 2015 94 £ 124 (2014) Avail­able via UK im­porter Hatch Mans­field Sub­tle smoke and choco­late pow­der char­ac­ter lie be­hind vivid, plump, fleshy mul­berry fruit, sup­ported by a slim ve­neer of tof­fee and vanilla oak whose youth­ful, sinewy tan­nins frame an ap­petis­ingly savoury fin­ish. Drink 2017-2028 Alc 13.5%

Casa Real

First vin­tage 1989 Blend 100% Caber­net Sauvi­gnon Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 2,500 cases Santa Rita’s Casa Real is made from the low-yield­ing 20ha oa­sis of Carneros Viejo vine­yards planted in 1960 in Alto Jahuel at 527m above sea level. Since 1989, it has been pro­duced every year ex­cept 1992, 2000 and 2006. The clay con­tent of the old al­lu­vial ter­races of Carneros Viejo al­lows the vines to ripen slowly and con­sis­tently with fi­nesse. ➢

‘Our aim is to cre­ate the same vi­sion and style in Mendoza as at Château Che­val Blanc’ Lorenzo Pasquini, Che­val des An­des

In the semi-arid Mediter­ranean cli­mate, day­time warmth is main­tained un­til the evening when cooler air drifts in from the An­des to keep the grapes fresh and al­low a long, slow ripen­ing process. Wine­mak­ing is tra­di­tional, with the aim of ex­tract­ing max­i­mum ex­pres­sion of the ter­roir. Af­ter 25 years of mas­ter­mind­ing Casa Real, wine­maker Cecilia Tor­res has this year handed the reins over to Se­bastián Labbé. Santa Rita, Casa Real Caber­net Sauvi­gnon Reserva Espe­cial, Alto Jahuel, Maipo Val­ley,

Chile 2013 92 £ 35-£40 Ama­zon, Waitrose, Winedi­rect Show­ing scents of liquorice and vanilla spice, the fleshy, full-bod­ied black fruit mid­dle is smoothly tex­tured and sup­ported by a firmer struc­ture of fine tan­nins and firm acid­ity than is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent. Drink 2017-2025 Alc 14%

AR­GENTINA Zuc­cardi, Piedra In­finita

First vin­tage 2012 100% Mal­bec Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 300 cases While Zuc­cardi has ploughed a his­toric Mal­bec fur­row in the lower-al­ti­tude, high­er­vol­ume Santa Rosa re­gion in Mendoza’s east, fa­ther and son José and Se­bastián de­cided on a project in the Uco Val­ley in 2002. Finca Piedra In­finita was pur­chased and planted in 2007 at 1,000m in the Al­tamira area; work on a new win­ery be­gan in 2013. Aim­ing to ex­press the typ­ic­ity of the rocky, al­lu­vial soils, they har­vest spe­cific sec­tors of the vine­yard where the stone ma­trix is be­tween 20cm and 49cm deep. Fer­men­ta­tion is car­ried out with na­tive yeasts in con­crete vats with about 60% of the grapes worked in whole bunches. Half the wine is aged in con­crete, the other half in used oak vats. ‘It’s a wine that does not aim for per­fec­tion, but rather the unique iden­tity of its ori­gins,’ says Se­bastián Zuc­cardi. Zuc­cardi, Piedra In­finita, Uco Val­ley, Mendoza, Ar­gentina 2013 92 £74.95 Davis Bell McCraith, Fine & Rare, Hail­sham Cel­lars The pop­u­lar Fa­milia Zuc­cardi has taken its reds to the next level with this pure Mal­bec, whose fra­grant vi­o­let aro­mas give way to a palate of spicy black­berry fruit, un­der­pinned by sub­tle oak and a fresh mul­berry-like bite. Drink 2017-2025 Alc 14%

Achaval Fer­rer, Finca Al­tamira

First vin­tage 1999 100% Mal­bec Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 830 cases When Santiago Achaval and Manuel Fer­rer Minetti linked up with the Ital­ian wine con­sul­tant Roberto Ci­presso to buy the 8ha vine­yard of Finca Al­tamira in 1998, the con­cept of sin­gle vine­yard was vir­tu­ally un­known in Ar­gentina. Their con­vic­tion that low-yield­ing, un­grafted, old Mal­bec vines planted in poor, stony soils would ex­press them­selves in dif­fer­ent ways ac­cord­ing to lo­ca­tion led to the dis­cov­ery, at dif­fer­ent el­e­va­tions and over dif­fer­ent soil pro­files, of Finca Bellav­ista in Per­driel and Finca Mi­rador in Me­drano.

‘In each bot­tle, you can see and taste the dif­fer­ences of soil pro­file, el­e­va­tion, tem­per­a­ture, vin­tage and the char­ac­ter­is­tics that each of th­ese vari­ables pro­duce in each ter­roir,’ says Achaval Fer­rer’s Julio Las­martres.

With an Ital­ian cast about their fresh­ness, Achaval Fer­rer’s sin­gle-vine­yard Mal­becs are among Ar­gentina’s great­est and long­est-lived. Achaval Fer­rer, Finca Al­tamira, Uco Val­ley, Mendoza, Ar­gentina 2013 94 £78-£78.65 Corney & Bar­row, Har­vey Ni­chols A dense, highly per­fumed Mal­bec with flo­ral notes and a pol­ished ve­neer of lightly charred oak, sump­tu­ous dark cherry and black­berry fruit with the silki­est of tan­nins and a firm spine of bright, damsony acid­ity. Drink 2018-2025 Alc 14.5%

Bode­gas Noemía, Noemía

First vin­tage 2001 Blend 100% Mal­bec Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 400 cases Ar­riv­ing in Ar­gentina in 1998, Hans Vind­ingDiers and Cin­zano heiress Noemi Marone Cin­zano found a semi-aban­doned vine­yard in Main­qué, Patag­o­nia af­ter al­most a year of search­ing (see p56). In­stinct told them that the 30ha of Mal­bec and Pinot Noir planted by Ital­ians in 1932 and 1955 were unique. The Pinot Noir was sold to Piero In­cisa della Roc­chetta and be­came Chacra ( be­low), while Noemía is made from the 1.5ha of Mal­bec planted in 1932. Viti­cul­ture is bio­dy­namic, though not cer­ti­fied. Af­ter hand de-stem­ming, berry by berry, us­ing 30% stalks, the grapes are fer­mented for 10-22 days us­ing nat­u­ral yeasts, then the wine spends about 18 months in new French oak. ‘We felt this vine­yard had some­thing to say for it­self,’ says Vind­ing-Diers. ‘The aim is to bring the vine­yard to the bot­tle.’ Bodega Noemía, Noemía, Alto Valle, Río Ne­gro, Ar­gentina 2015 95 £97 He­donism, Planet of the Grapes, The Wine Trea­sury Ac­com­plished Patag­o­nian Mal­bec min­gling flo­ral vi­o­lets and in­cense spice, while a se­duc­tive mid-palate rich­ness kicks in with black fruit flavours im­bued with beeswaxy, spicy notes and a savoury splash on an el­e­gantly bal­anced fin­ish. Drink 2017-2030 Alc 14.5%

Chacra, Cin­cuenta y Cinco

First vin­tage 2004 Blend 100% Pinot Noir Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 1,400 cases Weigh­ing in at only 12.1% (for the 2016) in a light Bur­gundy bot­tle with screw­cap, Cin­cuenta y Cinco – so-called be­cause the vines, orig­i­nat­ing in France, were planted by Ital­ian im­mi­grants in 1955 – re­flects the phi­los­o­phy of its owner, Piero In­cisa, of Sas­si­caia lin­eage. In a vine­yard of al­most 7ha sit­ting on peb­bly clay and sandy riverbed soils, the lu­mi­nos­ity of Patag­o­nia’s desert, linked to cold nights and pure Río Ne­gro water, pro­vides even ripen­ing, while a de­gree of salin­ity in the soils adds a savoury note. Af­ter fer­men­ta­tion with in­dige­nous yeasts on whole bunches, 30% of the wine is aged in ce­ment and the rest in used French oak bar­riques. ‘I am drawn to the fruit and flo­ral char­ac­ters of Pinot as op­posed to a more ex­tracted, con­cen­trated, al­co­holic style,’ says In­cisa. Its equally renowned sib­ling Treinta y Dos hails from the same Patag­o­nian vine­yard, planted in 1932. Chacra, Cin­cuenta y Cinco, Alto Valle, Río Ne­gro,

Ar­gentina 2016 92 £ 31.95 (2014) Lea & San­de­man The pret­ti­est of per­fumes min­gle with notes of bright rasp­berry fruit and liquorice spice in a mouth­ful of juicy, red berry fruit un­der­pinned by sub­tle oak, silky tan­nins and a spine of mul­berry fresh­ness. Drink 2017-2023 Alc 12.1%

Ni­colás Catena Zapata

First vin­tage 1997 Blend Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, Mal­bec Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 3,500 cases With the aim of mak­ing an Ar­gen­tinian wine that could com­pete with the great wines of the world, Ni­colás Catena re­leased the 1997 vin­tage in a se­ries of in­ter­na­tional blind tast­ings that marked a new era for Ar­gentina. Made by Ale­jan­dro Vigil, the core of the 78% Caber­net Sauvi­gnon de­rives from the deep al­lu­vial loam and clay of Lot 3 of La Pirámide Vine­yard planted at 950m in 1983. The Mal­bec is grown in the gravel and lime­stone of Lot 3 in Adri­anna Vine­yard, planted at 1,440m at Gual­tal­lary, Uco Val­ley in 1992. Cool to cold nights re­sult in in­tense aro­mat­ics, com­plex­ity and rich­ness. The blend, aged in new French oak and in bot­tle, both for 24 months, is Ni­colás Catena’s favourite, com­bin­ing his un­shake­able faith in Caber­net Sauvi­gnon with the Mal­bec loved by his fa­ther and planted by his pi­o­neer­ing Ital­ian grand­fa­ther. Catena, Ni­colás Catena Zapata, Uco Val­ley/Lu­ján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Ar­gentina 2013 96 £60 Alex Mar­ton, Cru World Wine Dis­play­ing a ma­jes­tic med­ley of en­tic­ing liquorice spice and sub­tle oak, the youth­ful vigour of this blend’s op­u­lent dark berry fruit rich­ness in­fused with notes of car­damom spici­ness con­fi­dently ex­presses its two great Caber­net and Mal­bec ter­roirs. Drink 2017-2030 Alc 13.5%

Co­bos, Chañares Vine­yard Mal­bec

First vin­tage 2014 Blend 100% Mal­bec Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 250 cases Af­ter cut­ting his teeth in Ar­gentina at Catena in the late 1980s, Paul Hobbs set up his own win­ery, Viña Co­bos, in Lu­ján de Cuyo. Af­ter cre­at­ing the Co­bos, Mar­chiori Vine­yard Mal­bec, he ac­quired the 17ha Chañares vine­yard at Los Ar­boles, Tunuyán in 2013 from a group of three pro­fes­sors from Mendoza Univer­sity. At 1,180m al­ti­tude, the north­fac­ing Chañares is planted to rel­a­tively young Caber­net Franc, Mal­bec and Caber­net Sauvi­gnon vines on free-drain­ing, al­lu­vial rock with coarse sand and loam. In ad­di­tion to a Caber­net Franc, Hobbs pro­duced his first pure Mal­bec from here in 2014. An icon-in­wait­ing, this as-yet youth­ful, struc­tured red is aged for 17 months in new French oak, and prom­ises to be as good as, if not bet­ter and longer-lived than the pow­er­ful Mar­chiori. Co­bos, Chañares Vine­yard Mal­bec, Tunuyán, Uco Val­ley, Mendoza, Ar­gentina 2014 93 £ 230 Ar­monk Wines & Spir­its Framed by spicy vanillin oak and sweet dark berry fruit, pri­mary aro­mas give way to a black­berry rich­ness, a cho­co­latey op­u­lence be­neath tem­pered by a firm spine of acid­ity. Drink 2018-2027 Alc 15%

Che­val des An­des

First vin­tage 1999 Blend Mal­bec, Caber­net Sauvi­gnon Av­er­age an­nual pro­duc­tion 5,000-6,600 cases

When Château Che­val Blanc’s Pierre Lur­ton vis­ited Mendoza in the late 1990s, he teamed up with Roberto de la Mota, find­ing a block of un­grafted Mal­bec planted in 1929 in Las Com­puer­tas. Se­lected for its el­e­gant, re­fined ex­pres­sion, Che­val des An­des was born once the use of the revered Che­val name had been per­son­ally sanctioned by LVMH’s owner Bernard Ar­nault. Mal­bec has taken over from Caber­net Sauvi­gnon as the se­nior part­ner in the blend, as its prop­er­ties in viti­cul­ture and wine­mak­ing have be­come bet­ter un­der­stood. ‘Af­ter 18 years of ex­pe­ri­ence,’ says Lorenzo Pasquini, tech­ni­cal man­ager and wine­maker, ‘our aim is to cre­ate the same vi­sion and style in Mendoza as at Château Che­val Blanc: age­ing po­ten­tial with el­e­gance, com­plex­ity, fresh­ness and bal­ance.’ Che­val des An­des, Lu­ján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Ar­gentina 2013 94 £85 Cam­bridge Wine Mer­chants, Clos 19 Scented cedar, lips­mack­ingly rich black fruit. Pol­ished oak adds to a suave tex­ture, mor­ph­ing into a firmer struc­ture of youth­fully vig­or­ous grip and a fresh acid spine. Drink 2018-2030 Alc 14%

Left: Chile’s Casa Real, a long-es­tab­lished icon wine, and Ni­col‡s Catena Zapata from Ar­gentina

Above: storm clouds over re­cently har­vested Carmenere vines at the Clos Apalta vine­yard

Left: Al­ma­viva wine­maker Michel Friou

Above: grown in Maipo’s Puente Alto, Don Mel­chor is the icon wine from the Concha y Toro sta­ble

Above: Ed­uardo Chadwick (left) and vet­eran Cal­i­for­nia pro­ducer Robert Mon­davi orig­i­nally founded Seña as a joint ven­ture in 1995

Be­low: Zuc­cardi’s new Uco Val­ley win­ery in Paraje Al­tamira was opened in early 2016

Above: Hans Vind­ingDiers first ar­rived in Patag­o­nia in 1998

Be­low: Chacra’s 2016 Cin­cuenta y Cinco

Right: Ni­colás Catena was the 2009 De­can­ter Man of the Year

Above: Co­bos, Chañares Vine­yard Mal­bec 2014, grown at 1,180m in Tunuyán

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