criolla blanca 2019
An exciting and ground-breaking component of the new Argentine White Wine Revolution, this is a must-have for any truly adventurous wine list and and we were reduced to kids in a candy shop when it was first revealed to us. Criolla Blanca is part of the ancient Criolla family, an unruly ‘bunch’ of varietals that came to be as a result of the wild frolickings of Criolla Chica and Muscat d’Alexandria in centuries past. It makes up 90% of this wine and comes from 20 year old vines grown in the traditional Parral style in Lavalle, East Mendoza, fermented and aged in unlined concrete eggs. The remaining 10% is from Los Chacayes and is a mystifying blend of Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Semillon, which blended together is aged biologically under flor for two years (a la Jerez / Sherry). This component is added as a kind of ‘dosage’ when making the final blend and it offers a jaw-dropping level of intrigue and complexity that almost defies description. It is wonderful to see small producers like this exploring the winemaking history of Argentina – and Europe – to create wines that are genuinely unique and give us loads to talk about and enjoy.