Winecast: Argentine Wine

Winecast: Argentine Wine

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Language: English

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Number of phrases: 300

Number of words: 1974

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00:00
hello everybody and welcome to the wine cast in order to compliment cast that I've done on to other South American wine producing countries Ottawa and Chile it's time to head back to the southern hemisphere and take on Argentina a very important player in South American wine and on the world stage as well that has a complex compelling and interesting wine culture there's a lot to say about Argentina so let's jump right in vidis vinifera first reached argentina in the mid 1550s 1556 to be exact with the planting of cuttings that were brought into the region from neighboring
00:30
Chile the grape that grew from those cuttings will be familiar to you if you've seen the cast's on Chile in California it was that dependable workhorse of a grape that goes by many names by isse least on Prieto Cleo yeah or mission or mission in English and that was appreciated more for its ability to produce a large volume of wine destined mostly for communion rather than for careful appreciation and personal enjoyment although other grape varieties were soon introduced Argentina the emphasis on quantity over quality
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was a hallmark of the industry there until late in the 20th century with Argentines drinking a lot of wine but most of it being bulk wine with little expectation of quality by the 1990s in the early 2000s though things have begun to change thanks to an increase in the overall quality of production in Argentina and a subsequent boom and exports led by the increasing popularity of Argentine Malbec the export boom was remarkable and made Argentina a big player on the world wine stage in 2016 for example Argentina ranked ninth in
01:32
the world in terms of dollar value of exported wine but the future of Argentina's economic growth remains uncertain and the boom is stalled to some degree they're not collapsed was the still impressive eight hundred and sixteen million dollars in exports for 2016 representing a drop in value of over 100 million dollars from Argentina's peak as an exporter in 2012 Argentina's signature grape and its most planted grape is Malbec but I've already covered in a dedicated cast so look for more information on it
02:02
their Malbec is followed by three red grapes and three white grapes to round out the top seven Bernarda cab Sauve Syrah Pedro Jimenez muscatel or Muscat of Alexandria and another signature grape torrent this a couple of these grapes are very well known but three of them could use some additional comment Bernard is a red grape that produces wines with a strong black fruit character along with more savory notes like tar and leather that tend to appear with age genetic studies have established that
02:33
it's identical to a grape grown in France under the names Corbeau and du soir and - one grown in California under the name Charbonneau but don't expect California producers to call attention to that fact because they like to represent their Charboneau as a rare and somewhat exotic cult grape that isn't widely planted there are actually less than 250 acres of it in California fun fact but the truth is that it's identical to Argentine Bernarda that's planted to over 45,000 acres what Bernarda is not identical to
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however is two grapes from Italy that go by Bernard ax and Charbonneau despite sharing names with them speaking of sharing name's Pedro Jimenez spelled with a G though similar-sounding doesn't seem to be related to the varieties spelled with an X that's used for making dessert wines and Sherry's in Spain this is Argentina's most planted white grape but its use has been primarily for bulk wines and you're seeing less and less of it planted every year a grape with a much better reputation for quality production is thought on this wines made from this grape a richly
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aromatic often shown in stone fruit melon and white flower notes they're actually three separate though closely related grape varieties and Argentina that go by the name Thor on this each with a geographic indicator tacked on to it thorald s Mendocino from Mendoza Doland s San Juan Ino from San Juan and Dante's Rioja know from the La Rioja province of the three Rioja know is the one that's usually labeled just Thor on this and that you'll find outside of Argentine Rioja no is a cross between
04:06
our old friend the mission grape and Muscat of Alexandria and that cross probably happened in Argentina making it a local grape and also meaning that it's unrelated to another grape that's also called Durand s from Galicia in northwest Spain the Argentine is a large country with lots of coastline most of its vineyard acreage is inland giving it a continental climate much of this land is at a high elevation close to the Andes Mountains with most of the vineyards at elevations greater than 600
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meters the effect of high altitude on grape plantings is still the subject of research but the increased sun exposure at altitude does seem to promote the development of thicker skins and by extension of more tannin and other polyphenols in the wine temperatures are also cooler at higher altitudes showing slowing sugar ripening and giving the grapes more time to hang on the vine vineyards in the southernmost regions of Nelkin and rio negro are at lower elevations but managed to remain cool thanks to their southerly
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latitude how high can vineyards get in Argentina to answer that you'll need to head to salta in the north that has sub regions like Gough a Yeti with many vineyards in excess of 2,000 meters in altitude and Molino with what is probably the world's highest altitude vineyard Alta Maxima planted at three thousand one hundred and ten meters or about ten thousand two hundred feet regardless of the altitude all of our gen Tina's wine regions tend to be very dry thanks in no small part to the rain shadow created by the Andes Mountains
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this dry climate means that there isn't much risk to the vines in terms of fungus rot or similar diseases but there is a risk of hail in many of these regions during the growing season to mitigate this risk producers use several strategies including draping nets over their vines to protect them from the hail or spreading out their acreage over several vineyards that are remote from each other so that hail storms which are usually pretty highly localized won't damage all of their vines in the wine regions of the Northwest a powerful dry wind called the Samba can also pose a
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threat and speaking of damage to by though there is flocks are in Argentina it's relatively rare and not as damaging to vines there as it is in other areas with the result being that many Argentine vines are planted on their own roots and not grafted onto American root stocks in terms of wine law Argentina's appellation system was restructured in 1999 and while the system is often presented as having three tiers I think it makes more sense to understand it as a system divided into two semi parallel tracks that differ in the degree to which each one
06:39
is regulated the first track has two divisions an indication hail graphical or Geographic indication designation that can be depending on where the grapes are sourced either one of three regions one of the number of provinces or one of the larger number of sub regions in those provinces so for example a wine could be either labeled as from the regional IG of kuya or from the provincial IG of Sun one in the queal region or from the sub regional IG
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of say the Tulum Valley in someone whatever the area this designation is largely unregulated like most new world Appalachians except for the national requirement that if a wine is variety labeled at least 80% of the wine in the bottle be that varietal and that at least 85% of the wine come from the appellation on the bottle this tier does imply however that the wine being made is being made to a standard of quality by contrast the second level in this tract the Innoko assumed that
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presidencia or indication of origin designation does not imply quality production and is usually a home for bulk wines these can be labeled with a place of origin but not one more specific than one of the three regional IGS the second track in the system is the venom inácio no daehan Cointreau lava or controlled denomination of origin that like its name suggests is a European Union styled appellation system that regulates quite a bit about production in the areas that receive it like similar Appalachians in the EU
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Argentine do seas regulate grape varieties that can be used grape yields and other features of both viticulture and wine production each do si is overseen by its own clone se or regulatory council that draws up and enforces regulations currently there are only two areas that use this system both of them sub regions of the province of Mendoza lujan de Cuyo and San Rafael both of these are only approved to produce wines from Malbec what about wines from these regions made from other grapes they can be produced
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under the IDS of the same name for each of these areas so when buying a wine from either Lujan Dec wheel or San Rafael pay attention to whether it's from the highly regulated do C for that area or from the less regulated IG that was a lot of technical information about Argentina's wine culture and laws but I don't like to end these casts without leaving you with some practical advice about what to try if you're looking to drink more argentine wines so for starters head to Mendoza which is the big dog of Argentina's production areas
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Mendoza produces about 70 percent of Argentina's total wine with a big chunk of that being Malbec often from old vines some quality sub regions to look for from this area include maipu the via or valley of eco Lupin gato and of course the do seas of Lujan de cuyo and San Rafael north of Mendoza is La Rioja which is the oldest wine region Argentina and best known for producing whites based on mascota Alexandria and its offspring along this look especially
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for thrown deaths from the sub region of famine tina at the very north of Argentina check out wines from Salta a region known for thrown deaths particularly from the high altitude sub region of cafe yet they Salta also has a good reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec and other sub regions to be on the lookout for are the lrn al and molinos finally way down south at the other end of the growing regions nail ken and rio negro thanks to their cool climates are
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gaining a reputation for grapes that do well in colder areas like pinot noir Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and a reputation unsurprisingly given both the cool climate and the Pinot and chard for sparkling wines thanks for joining me for another wine cast this cast brings me a step closer to completing casts on all of South America's major wine producers and I hope to do a cast on bridge at some point in the relatively near future to finish out the set so keep an eye out if this cast was helpful and interesting to you please like and
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subscribe if you haven't already and I hope to hear from you in the comments I'm your host the unknown wine caster and I'm out enjoy the grape but always enjoy it responsibly

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