12 to try: South America’s top whites
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