Tim Atkin MW praises white wine quality in latest Argentina report

Tim Atkin MW has highlighted the continued improvement of Argentina’s white wines, saying they “now rank among the New World’s very best”.

As part of his latest report on Argentina, Atkin said there have been five major changes in the country over the past 30 years. One of those, he said, has been the transformation of the best white wines “from also-rans to thoroughbreds”.

“White grapes have always been grown in Argentina – they were more widely planted than reds in the 1990s – but styles have shifted dramatically in the last decade,” he said in the report. “Not so long ago, I remember longing, mostly in vain, for a glass of something crisp and fresh at the end of a day’s red wine tasting. The whites on offer were mostly flat, bland and often evolved. Fast forward 20 years and the category has been transformed. It is now more than a match for what’s being produced elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.”

In terms of white grape varieties, Atkin flagged the quality of Chardonnay and rising interest in Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Torrontés, Chenin Blanc, Semillion and Albariño.

Meanwhile, he said the other four major changes over the past 30 years, outlined in the report, are: the quality of the best wines, the search for new areas, expanding diversity and the increase in female winemakers.      

“This is my longest and most extensive report yet and it reflects the diversity and growing quality of Argentina’s wines,” said Atkin. “It’s remarkable how much the industry has changed in the 30 years since my first visit in 1992. The country’s best wines – and I’m talking whites as well as reds - have joined the global elite, talked about and consumed all over the world. It’s been a pleasure to witness such a remarkable the transformation first-hand.”

The report includes wine reviews as well as producer awards. White Wine of the Year went to 2019 Michelini I Mufatto Certezas Semillón from El Peral, while the red 2019 Zuccardi Finca Piedra Infinita Gravascal Malbec from Paraje Altamira became only the second South American wine ever to receive 100 points from Atkin.

The report is available for £20 via Atkin’s website.

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