Achaval Ferrer Quimera and Barrancas Toso

Here’s a short post on the newest additions from Mendoza, Argentina now available in select ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store locations.  While I was out of the office, taking a well-needed vacation and celebrating the 4th of July, it appears that I missed the arrival of these releases from two well-established and respected Argentine producers, Achaval Ferrer and Bodegas Pascual Toso.

IMG_9996First to Pascual Toso’s Barrancas Toso ($15), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec sourced from their Las Barrancas single-vineyard estate in Mendoza’s Maipu district.  Here’s a red with elegance and focus that would be work well with grilled baby lamb chops or freshly-made pasta (I once had a terrific plate of gnocchi bolognese in Argentina).  Bodegas Pascual Toso is one of Argentina’s centenary producers, having been established by its namesake in 1890.  Since 2001, noted Sonoma County winemaker Paul Hobbs has been the consulting enologist and the wines reflect his signature ripe yet refined style.

In 2011, founders Santiago Achaval and Manuel Ferrer sold a controlling interest in their iconic Mendoza winery to drinks giant SPI Group, purveyors of the Stolichnaya Vodka mega-brand.  For serious wine fans this might be cause for a bit of pause.  However, with talented Italian winemaker Roberto Cipresso still at helm, the end results assuredly remain the same: impeccably well-made varietal expressions of Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley fruit.  It’s a hard to refute argument with a glass of Achaval Ferrer Quimera ($35) in hand.  This wine is a remarkable Argentine effort with a Bordeaux slant; a deftly made meritage of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  The 2011 vintage received a 92 point rating from Wine Spectator.

Fans of fleshy, balanced, richly black-fruited yet complex wines should seek these tasty additions out before they disappear.

Jim Greeley, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits supervisor

Follow me on twitter @abcwineJimG

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