Wine Reviews: Argentina & Chile

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-18-2020

I’m excited to be back this week with some offerings from Argentina and Chile.

Domaine Bousquet’s organic “Virgen” reds dole out plenty of freshness and complexity for a crazy low price. I also have some crisp and deep Malbecs from some of the highest elevation vineyards in the world, Bodega Colomé. And Los Vascos continues to put out reliable, value-driven Chilean wines.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2019 Domaine Bousquet Malbec “Virgen” Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Tupungato
SRP: $13
Deep purple color. Jammy and ripe on the nose (black cherries, dark plums) with roasted chestnut, coffee, violets and charred herbs. Silky tannins on the palate, fresh acidity, a medium-bodied frame, this wine spots black cherries, plums and blueberries, fun but fresh fruit. Notes of violets, cedar, coffee, with charcoal and anise. A lot of personality and “realness” for a wine with this low a price point. (87 points IJB)

2019 Domaine Bousquet Red Blend “Virgen” Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Tupungato
SRP: $13
Medium purple color. Nose shows smoky, beefy, peppery spice with tart currants, red plums, menthol. Zippy acidity, light tannins, a tangy but slightly chewy feel with tart currants and plums. Lots off smoky earth, beef cubes, pepper. Fresh and fun, this is a grill and veggie-friendly wine that offers some solid value. 35% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc. (86 points IJB)

2019 Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon “Virgen” Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Tupungato
SRP: $13
Light purple color. Aromas of plums, black cherries, with mesquite, cocoa, violets, tilled dark soil. Medium/full-bodied with fresh acidity and light tannins. Red and black plums and currants, tangy and bright fruit, mixed in with earth, clay, mesquite, violet petals, some cocoa and light roast coffee tones. Wow, there’s quite a lot going on here in terms of depth and freshness for the price. Accessible yet sports complexity, too. (88 points IJB)

2018 Bodega Amalaya Malbec Argentina, Salta, Calchaqui
SRP: $16
Bright purple color. Plummy nose with black cherries and prunes, mixed with coffee, anise, charcoal and dusty earth. On the palate, this is full-bodied with suave tannins, a velvety texture, and vibrant acidity. Blackberries, black currants and tangy plums mix well with elements of smoky earth, graphite, soy, bell pepper. Underlying mineral tones. Delightfully delicious but also showing serious complexity and vibrancy. Serious value alert! (90 points IJB)

2017 Bodega Colomé Malbec EstateArgentina, Salta, Calchaqui
SRP: $25
Deep purple color. Aromas of plum cake, rich black cherry, with dark chocolate, smoky earth, roasted chestnut, mesquite, vanilla bean. Vibrant acidity frames this wine perfectly, suave tannins with some moderate grip, balanced and clean mouthfeel. Black cherry and currant compote fruit blends well with anise, black tea, grilled herbs. Notes of vanilla and cedar wove in well. Complex, vibrant, delicious Malbec. (90 points IJB)

2018 Bodega Colomé Malbec Auténtico Argentina, Salta, Calchaqui
SRP: $30
Inky purple color. Dark and deep aromas of blackberry, roasted fig, with charcoal, loamy earth, graphite, iron, and violet petal notes. Full-bodied and built well with structured tannins, met with vibrant acidity. Blackberry, black currant and roasted fig fruit, deep but tangy fruit with complex notes of graphite, smashed rocks, charcoal, dark chocolate shavings, mint. Sporting a lot of complexity, balance and aging potential. (91 points IJB)

2019 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Sauvignon Blanc Los Vascos Chile, Casablanca Valley
SRP: $10
Light yellow color. Aromas of lemon verbena, sliced cucumbers and jalapeno, with lemon, grapefruit, dried white flowers. Zippy and bright on the palate with juicy white peaches and bright lemon and ruby red grapefruit. Notes of honey, clover, basil and lemongrass add complexity, and I get notes of sea salt and floral perfume. Pleasant, crisp, crowd-pleasing stuff that offers a lot of personality and value. All stainless steel. (87 points IJB)

2019 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Chardonnay Los Vascos Chile, Central Valley
SRP: $10
Light yellow color. Aromas of white peach, yellow apples, whipped honey, lots of white and yellow wildflowers. Plump but really fresh on the palate, medium-bodied, bright acidity, it has a light, salad-friendly feel. Lemon, white peach and green apple fruit mix with notes of honey, hay, almond. Fun, summery stuff. Stainless steel with some of the wine aged on its lees. (86 points IJB)

2019 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Rosé Los Vascos Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
SRP: $10
Bright pink color. Nose pops with spicy verbena, mint, with lemon, green apple, rose tea – spicy! Zippy, crisp, crunchy with lemon and tart apple, and notes of mint, white pepper and sea salt add some complexity. This is fun, fresh, salad-friendly stuff. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. (86 points IJB)

2016 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Le Dix de Los Vascos Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
SRP: $55
Light purple color. On the nose, I get waves of deep but vibrant fruit (black cherries, blackberry, plums) with tobacco leaf, charcoal, loamy earth, coffee grounds, accented with vanilla and cocoa powder. Plush and full texture with structured but velvety tannins and crisp acidity – it is all balanced really well. Smooth black currants with deep cherry and fresh wild blackberry. Complex notes of earth, roasted chestnut, pencil shavings with vanilla and coffee. Gorgeous depth and freshness, this is drinking well now, but 2-5 years in the cellar would help this integrate and allow more complex secondary elements to come out. Really impressive stuff. Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Carmenere and 5% Syrah, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. (92 points IJB)

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