12 to try: South Amer­ica’s top whites

Decanter - - WHITE WINES -

also be cred­ited for con­tribut­ing to the va­ri­ety’s re­vival in South Amer­ica. Drink 2020-2028 Alc 13%

J Bou­chon, Gran­ito Semil­lon, Maule Val­ley, Chile 2018 93

£ 32.49 Bacchanali­a, Con­nolly’s, The Good

Wine Shop, The Ox­ford Wine Co, The Wine Box, Vi­nos Lati­nos

This sen­sa­tional wine is made with fruit from a dry-farmed vine­yard planted in the 1940s. Grapes were hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and aged in French oak for 12 months. It oozes class. Pure and pre­cise with notes of citrus fruits, orange blos­som, wet hay, green chill­ies, slate and fresh dough, as well as a hint of nut­ti­ness. On the palate it is dry, dis­play­ing beau­ti­ful fresh­ness, a so­phis­ti­cated tex­ture and ex­cep­tion­ally well-judged oak. Per­fect for en­joy­ing now and will age grace­fully. Drink 2020-2030 Alc 13%

Trapiche, El Esteco Old Vines 1945 Tor­rontés, Calchaqui Val­ley, Salta, Ar­gentina 2019 93

£ 14-£ 15.95 Exel, Great Wines Di­rect, The Fine Wine Co, The Great Wine Co, Wine Di­rect

Grapes for this wine were metic­u­lously sourced from 239 vines that were planted more than 70 years ago, us­ing the tra­di­tional par­ral sys­tem (per­gola). In­tense and at­trac­tively per­fumed, in­clud­ing aro­mas of white rose, lime zest, ly­chee, jasmine and grape. On the palate it is dry, with ex­cep­tional con­cen­tra­tion of fruit and a won­der­ful bal­anc­ing fresh­ness. De­spite its rich­ness and power, as well as 14% al­co­hol, it is har­mo­nious. An out­stand­ing ex­am­ple of Tor­rontés. Drink 2020-2023 Alc 14%

Casa Marín, Es­tero Vine­yard Sauvi­gnon Gris, San An­to­nio, Chile 2019 92

£ 21.35-£ 24.33 Al­liance Wine, KWM Wine,

The Fine Wine Co, Wais­coat Wines

Vi­va­cious and invit­ing aro­mas of green peas, pas­sion fruit, hay, pink grape­fruit, trop­i­cal fruits, white pep­per and flo­ral notes. Morn­ing fog and ocean breezes en­sure that the wine re­tains won­der­ful fresh­ness on the palate, help­ing to bal­ance its ex­u­ber­ant flavours. The wine is dry, dis­plays a creamy tex­ture and a won­der­ful per­sis­tent fin­ish. Drink 2020-2025 Alc 14.5%

Leyda, Sin­gle Vine­yard Garuma Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Leyda Val­ley, San An­to­nio, Chile 2019 92

£ 12.80-£ 16.33 Exel, GP Brands, Great Wines Di­rect, My Somm, The Fine Wine Co, The Great Wine Co

This sin­gle vine­yard lo­cated on west­fac­ing slopes re­ceives abun­dant cool breezes from the ocean, which con­trib­utes to its pun­gent aro­mas of freshly cut green pep­pers, as­para­gus, grape­fruit, lime and trop­i­cal and grassy notes. On the palate it dis­plays lovely tex­ture and good con­cen­tra­tion of fruit un­der­pinned by racy acid­ity. Drink 2020-2024 Alc 13%

Montes, Outer Lim­its Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Za­pal­lar, Aconcagua, Chile 2019 92 £ 14.75-£ 17.99 Elicite, Exel, Fine Wines of May­field, Grand Cru Co, Lat­i­tude Wine, Lib­erty Wines, Qual­ity Wines, Vinvm, Wine Di­rect

The name of the wine il­lus­trates Aure­lio Montes’ de­sire to push the bound­aries of viti­cul­ture in Chile. This vine­yard, lo­cated on the Za­pal­lar coast, only 7km from the ocean, of­fers pure, pre­cise and in­tense aro­mas of mango, pas­sion fruit, as­para­gus, grape­fruit, green pea and pome­gran­ate. On the palate it com­bines ex­u­ber­ance of fruit with a re­fined tex­ture and a won­der­fully long fin­ish that’s packed with trop­i­cal fruits. Drink 2020-2025 Alc 13%

Piz­zato, Semil­lon, Vale dos Vin­he­dos, Serra Gaúcha, Brazil 2018 92

£ 18.95 Go Brazil

The Piz­zato fam­ily is re­spon­si­ble for some of Brazil’s best wines. Semil­lon is a sur­pris­ing, al­beit wel­come ad­di­tion to their range. Fruit is sourced from a vine­yard planted in 2012 and the wine is made with great care and at­ten­tion. It dis­plays en­tic­ing and com­plex aro­mas of citrus and ripe yel­low fruits, wild flow­ers, nutty notes and sweet spices. The palate is har­mo­nious, with bal­anc­ing fresh­ness, good con­cen­tra­tion of beau­ti­fully ripe yel­low fruits, nuts and savoury com­plex­ity. Drink 2020-2030 Alc 13%

Su­sana Balbo, Sig­na­ture White Blend, Al­tamira, Uco Val­ley, Men­doza, Ar­gentina 2019 92

£ 16.80-£ 20.50 Christo­pher Piper, Dunell’s, He­do­nism, Hen­nings, No­ble Green, Sel­f­ridges, Spe­cial­ity Drinks, Ve­gan Wine Box

A cre­ative blend of equal parts Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Semil­lon and Tor­rontés, us­ing fruit from Finca La Del­fina in Al­tamira. It re­sults in an up­lift­ing and fra­grant bou­quet of elderflowe­r, dill, green tea, citrus fruits and grapey aro­mas. The wine spends four months in French oak bar­rels (60% new and 40% used), which be­stows added tex­ture and com­plex­ity. On the palate it is dry, with as­sertive acid­ity, a beau­ti­ful tex­ture and a pleas­ant, per­sis­tent and re­fresh­ing fin­ish. Drink 2020-2025 Alc 13%

Garzón, Reserva Al­bar­iño, Mal­don­ado, Uruguay 2019 90

£ 15.75-£ 19.99 Exel, Hay Wines, Lib­erty Wines, Loki, ND John, Slurp, The Fine Wine Co, The Wine Re­serve, Vinvm, WineTrust1­00

A solid wine from an am­bi­tious project in the district of Mal­don­ado on south­ern Uruguay’s At­lantic coast. The wine is youth­ful and dis­plays pure and pre­cise aro­mas in­clud­ing grape­fruit, peach, ap­ples, fresh dough, gen­tle flo­rals and a hint of min­er­al­ity. Dry, bal­anc­ing acid­ity, silky tex­ture, mod­er­ate con­cen­tra­tion and an at­trac­tive savoury edge, as well as a hint of bit­ter­ness on the fin­ish, typ­i­cal of Al­bar­iño. Drink 2020-2030 Alc 14%

hen Dutch en­tre­pre­neur Myn­dert Pon bought 1,200ha of el­e­vated ter­rain in a lit­tle-known cor­ner of Men­doza in 1996 with the idea of grow­ing that area’s first high-qual­ity vine­yards, it marked the be­gin­ning of a wine­mak­ing rev­o­lu­tion in San Pablo, Men­doza’s new­est ge­o­graph­i­cal in­di­ca­tion (GI).

‘Rather than sell­ing the grapes or buy­ing them from some­where else, his ob­jec­tive was to bot­tle at ori­gin – and that was rev­o­lu­tion­ary for the time,’ says Fred­erike Pon, Myn­dert’s daughter and cur­rent owner (with her brother and sis­ter) of Bode­gas Sa­len­tein.

Hav­ing al­ready de­vel­oped farm­land in Ar­gentina’s En­tre Ríos prov­ince, Myn­dert’s vi­sion and keen sense of op­por­tu­nity led him to Uco Val­ley and, specif­i­cally, to San Pablo. The land here, at be­tween 1,175m and 1,700m above sea level, had long been ded­i­cated to an ar­ray of agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties – from Je­suits rais­ing cat­tle in the 18th cen­tury to more con­tem­po­rary cul­ti­va­tion of wheat, pota­toes and or­chard fruit.

But Sa­len­tein was the first to de­velop vine­yards across its La Pampa (800ha) and San Pablo (400ha) es­tates. And, as Myn­dert in­creas­ingly fell for San Pablo’s charms, the more in­volved he be­came with Uco Val­ley and its com­mu­ni­ties, de­vel­op­ing a re­gion as well as a fam­ily business.

In 1997 he planted 40ha of Mal­bec, Sauvi­gnon Blanc, Mer­lot and Pinot Noir in San Pablo and fol­lowed up this pi­o­neer­ing

Wen­deav­our with fur­ther ground-break­ing ini­tia­tives. Myn­dert laid the cor­ner­stone for Sa­len­tein’s bodega, to­day known for its ma­jes­tic bar­rel room com­plete with grand pi­ano, and then started build­ing a de­light­ful posada (lodge). Fast for­ward a few more years and the es­tate would also house two restau­rants and a chapel, plus a gallery show­cas­ing the work of Dutch and Ar­gen­tinian artists.

Sa­len­tein was also the first bodega to in­clude the words ‘Es­tate Bot­tled in Uco Val­ley’ on its la­bels, start­ing with the 1999 vin­tage.

In 2002, the viti­cul­tural team diver­si­fied to plant Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Me­u­nier and Gewürz­traminer at up to 1,600m al­ti­tude. To­day, Sa­len­tein has 250ha of vine­yards in San Pablo, whose al­ti­tudi­nous and rocky ter­roir was

The Las Se­quoias Vine­yard, at 1,600m al­ti­tude

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