Buenos Aires is sometimes called the Paris of South America and the nickname certainly comes from a place of truth. Its Francophile architecture, streets buzzing with lively bistros, bakeries and coffee shops and it’s vibrant cultural and gastronomic scenes are just a few of the similarities.
And just as the City of Lights has influenced the spirit of the Argentinian capital, a thousand kilometres West, in the prestigious wine region of Mendoza, the French have also left their mark, not just through the history of local winemaking but in current and successful partnerships that often see well established vignerons venturing into the Andean country to create wines with a French sensibility which cherish Argentinian terroirs.
Amancaya 2013 is a fine and modern example of this joyful partnership. Bordeaux legends Domaine Barons de Rothschild Lafite have join efforts with the Catena family, pretty much Argentinian wine royalty, to produce a beautiful blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Even in the grapes of choice, selected from privileged spots in the Uco Valley, Agrelo and Las Compuertas, the union is foreshadowed.
With a sturdy 14.5% ABV and tannins to match, you’d expect it to be loud and in-your-face, but its smoothness and elegance are remarkable. Generous both on the nose and palate, it is intense and concentrated, with plenty of ripe forest fruits enhanced by a comforting array of sweet spices like vanilla, cloves and cinnamon. A cedary note and the flavours of toasted cocoa and coffee bean make it a wine you’ll want to sip for long, unveiling layer after layer of complexity as you go. Decant and smile!
It will surely do the trick at a BBQ, as it works perfectly with beef (if you known anyone able to make an Argentinian Asado, bribe them with this wine for a win-win scenario). For more sizzling summer recipes, check our BBQ Recipe Collection.
Amancaya 2013 is available at O’Briens Wine at €16.95 (on offer from €20.95).
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.