Deep purple in color, with a spicy aroma, plum, raisins, and dark cherry-like flavors. Tannins are soft, velvety, and sweet. Very elegant, full-bodied, and a long finish which shows off its splendor and richness.
Vina Alicia Winery
Alicia Arizu established Viña Alicia in 1996. With 25 years of research in both viticulture and wine making, she dedicated herself to creating Mendoza's most elegant wines from vineyards that have been in her family for 3 generations in Mendoza's Lujan de Cuyo.
Viña Alicia has two vineyards: "San Alberto" and "Viña Alicia" in Lujan de Cuyo. The geographical location, the type of soil and the regional climate place these lands among the most wanted lands of the world. Climate is template, Mediterranean, dry and the scarce rainfalls (180 mm, annual average) add up to the ideal conditions for vine growing. The soil origin is alluvial and has a loam-silty to sandy texture. Water for irrigation comes from the snow break in the high mountains of the Los Andes mountain range, through a unique irrigation system in the world. All these benefits plus water management according to the actual growing needs in terms of frequency and quantity make Lujan de Cuyo the first viticulture zone in Argentina.
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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 & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.