"Marron glace and figs aromas deliver a sweet and ripe impression to this wine, which softness its tannic structure and powerful acidity. Pour it in the with game or save for another three to four years." - Wine Enthusiast
Luigi Bosca Winery
In the village of Unzue, located in Navarra, Leoncio Arizu was born to Saturnino Arizu and Juana Uriz. The meaning of the family name would be a sign of the importance oak would have in his life, as Arizu means "oak grove". In 1890, a seven-year-old Leoncio arrived in Argentina and settled in Mendoza, where he was met by his uncle Balbino, already involved in the wine business.
The very first vineyards owned by the Arizus, had vines of European origin and were incorporated so that the winery began form in 1901. Leoncio Arizu became the manager of the family winery. A year later, the family purchased steam-powered plowing machinery and hired highly-trained personnel from England.
Leoncio Arizu married Juana Larrea in 1922. The couple would have 5 children. Saturnino Arizu, Leoncio's son, became involved in the winery. Don Leoncio Arizu passed away, and left his children his greatest heritage: His passion for wine.
Years later, Saturnino and his children began the commercialization of the wines produced by the family: Luigi Bosca, a paradigm in Argentinean wines. In 1991 the original Luigi Bosca Winery, located in Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, was renovated and enlarged.
Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local's everyday dinner. Yet it's hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.
Unlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.