Argentina is much better known for its reds than its whites. But with stunning wine like this blend from Matias Riccitelli emerging, this could be about to change. It has some old-vine Semillon in the blend, a variety that Argentina used to do very well with (I’ve had Semillon from the 1950s that had aged very well).
Riccitelli Blanco de la Casa 2017 Mendoza, Argentina
12.5% alcohol. 40% Sauvignon Blanc (calcareous soils, Gualtallary, 1400 m), 40% Semillon (50 yo vineyard in La Consulta, sandy soils, 1000 m), 20% Chardonnay (La Carrera, 1700 m, sand over gravels) fermented and aged in concrete eggs for 8 months after a couple of days of skin contact prior to fermentation. Fresh and energetic with bright lemony fruit. Has a lovely stony, mineral undercurrent, exaggerated by the bright acidity. There’s lovely concentration with a zippy citrussy core and riper flavours of subtle honey, nectarine and grapefruit pith. Mouthwatering and intense with some saltiness and a vivid acid line. This is really not just about the fruit: it’s a complex, intense and slightly challenging wine that’s really pushing the boundaries of minerality and ageworthiness in Argentine whites. On day two, it has developed a lovely fennel character. Come back in five years? 95/100 UK agent: Hallgarten (retail c. £20)
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