Every good wine has a story to tell. And Anne-Caroline Biancheri (pictured next to me) should know. For besides owning the Bodega Antucura winery, located in the Uco Valley in Argentina, she is also a successful book publisher. Arriving in Argentina from her native France, Anne-Caroline founded Antucura in 1998.
The name translates as ‘Sun Stone,’ from the old Mapudungun language (mapu ‘earth’/dungun ‘to speak’) of the Pehunenches, who were the first inhabitants of the area. The viticultural region, at the foot of the Andes, boasts over 250 sunny days a year, alluvial soils with stones similar to the galets of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, little rain, and a wide variance in temperature between day and night, allowing a long hang-time for optimum ripening of the grapes.
Antucura produces only red wines. Their Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot plants were purchased from the same nursery in Pomerol that supplies Petrus and many of the other great chateaux of the region. They also grow Malbec of course, as well as Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. The wines are a beautiful melding of a specific Argentinian terroir and a French elegance personified by Anne-Caroline and winemaker Hervé Chagneau.
The good news is that the Antucura wines, in their new vintage, are back on our shelves at ABC and that the excellent. Antucura Malbec 2014 received 90 points from James Suckling who writes: “Very aromatic and flavorful with dark berry, violet and blueberry character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Drink or hold.”
We all are aware of the immense popularity of Argentinian Malbec, but the Antucura Malbec is something special – classic and elegant and beautifully structured. It is indeed a wine with a story of its own to tell.
Bill Stobbs, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits supervisor
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