Asado in the 6ix
Branca

 

Great wines from Argentina paired with Asado cuisine devoured in an Argentinean restaurant makes for an incredible experience! Thanks so much to Wines of Argentina for the invitation to Asado in the 6ix which they hosted in conjunction with U-Feast at Branca Restaurant.

We learned a lot that evening giving us a whole new appreciation for wines from Argentina and the Asado cuisine. There are many key factors that result in the diversity in Argentine wines: altitude and latitude, the presence of the Andes range, the rainfall regime and the variability in soils. Asado is a traditional way of preparing food and involves cooking over a live open fire.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut NV, Mendoza which was a nice lead into the wine flights and food that was to come.

Tasting notes:

Bright and clear with a touch of pale yellow. The aroma displays a bouquet of perfectly balanced yeasts with the Chardonnay used for this sparkling wine. Over time, this evolves and gains complexity in the bottle. The aroma is complemented by the flavour and has a gentle, soft fresh taste which makes it enjoyable to drink.

Wine flight #1 was paired with the Entradas (to start): Smoked Chicken Empanadas (spinach, corn, ricotta), Provoleta (tomato jam) and Grilled Romaine (chicharrón gremolata, parmigiano-reggiano).

Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Mendoza

Greenish yellow with golden hues. Aromas of green apples and tropical fruit. Complexity given by notes of vanilla, coconut, toast and a touch of smoke.

Catena Chardonnay 2016, Uco Valley, Mendoza

The wine shows an intense greenish colour with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of these vineyards offer honey and tropical fruit flavours while lending notes of citrus, pears, peaches, and white flowers with a strong minerality and a delicate note of vanilla. The mouthfeel is clean, with a fresh, clean acidity.

Finca Las Moras Paz Malbec 2014, San Juan

Dark and dense in colour, this San Juan Malbec smells of jammy plum, prickly berry fruits and spice. A raw rugged palate is home to flavours of spiced black plum, tomato and herbs. On the finish, this tastes lightly herbal, with grip and drying tannins.

Pyros Barrel Selected Malbec 2014, San Juan

Pyros Barrel Selected Malbec is intense, with aromas of cherries, spices and subtle floral violet notes. A fascinating and completely unique Malbec.

Wine flight #2 was paired with the Asados (from the grill): Entrana (inside skirt steak), Pollo al Asador (local organic chicken) and Pescado a la Parilla (whole grilled fish).

 

La Mascota Malbec 2015, Mendoza

Grown on stony soils in Cruz de Piedra, this is a ripe, yet refreshing style of Malbec, with quite a bit of smoky oak, but plenty of underlying structure. Textured bramble, liquorice and tobacco flavours are supported by crunchy acidity.

Don David Reserve Malbec 2017, Salta

Vivacious red with violet sparkles. Plum jam and raisins combined with pipe tobacco, chocolate. Soft and harmonic oak. Sweet and soft tannins. Dry fruits, chocolate flavours, oak. Long and persistent bouquet.

Masi Tupungato Passo Doble 2015, Mendoza

Medium deep red cherry colour; aromas of dried herb and fruit, with black cherry and spice notes and a hint of vanilla; dry, medium to full bodied, rich, with sweet dried fruit flavours, good balanced acidity and supporting tannins, long finish.

Colomé Estate Malbec 2014, Cafayate

Combining fruit from all four of Colomé’s Malbec vineyards, including (for the first time) Altura Máxima, this is smooth, textured yet refreshing, showing the freshness of a cool year. Plummy, spicy and sweet with aromas of Mediterranean herbs.

Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Uco Valley, Mendoza

Plum liqueur, redcurrants, crushed stones, oyster shell, crème de cassis, some subtle resin, roasted herbs and pepper. This is so polished and focused on the palate with tightly wound but generous tannins, a vibrant line of acidity and a long, chewy finish.

 

It seems as if Argentina is commonly associated with Malbec and my favourite ones were the Finca Las Moras Paz and Colomé Estate. I was also really impressed with the Norton Barrel Select Sauvignon Blanc and Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Looking forward to trying more wines from Argentina!