Summer values from Argentina

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Moderate Malbec: While some Malbecs are known for their opaque and robust expression, the 2010 Martin Fierro Malbec is moe restrained. | Matthew Grotto ~ Sun-Times Media

2010 Martin Fierro Malbec Tulum Valley, Argentina

2008 Martin Fierro Chardonnay-Torrontes Tulum Valley, Argentina

This is a fascinating tandem of wines from Bodegas Borbore, located in the Tulum Valley of Argentina. Sheltered by the Andes Mountains (to the west) and Pie de Palo mountain ranges, Tulum Valley is within San Juan Provence, the second largest wine-producing region of Argentina. With an abundance of sunshine and minimal rainfall, the alluvial soils of this desert-like environment is irrigated only by water from the Andes Mountains descending into the San Juan River. This arid climate is conducive for cultivating expressive red varietals of Malbec, Syrah, and Tannat along with Chardonnay and Torrontes.

In 1868 Frenchman Michel Pouget introduced Malbec, one of the dominant grapes from the Cohors region in the southwest of France, into Argentina. While some Malbecs are known for their opaque and robust expression, the 2010 Martin Fierro Malbec is more restrained and Grenache–like in style. There is a delicate framework of stone cherry, steamed tea and red plum assembled with hints of white pepper and minerality that enhance the food compatibility of this wine.

The 2008 Martin Fierro Chardonnay-Torrentes is a fresh and exuberant white emphasizing immediate and casual consumption. The Chardonnay is keenly blended with enough Torrontes giving it white floral aromas without letting the Chardonnay dominate this adventure. There is stunning purity with lemongrass, apple rind and quince brightly accented with lime sorbet-like fruit in the finish.

Suggested retail price:

2010 Martin Fierro Malbec, $11.99

2008 Martin Fierro Chardonnay-Torrontes, $9.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.