Organic Rosé by Artesano de Argento
Regular readers will know that the Argento Winery of Argentina has appeared in the pages before, firstly with their Organic Malbec/Cabernet Franc and then their single-vineyard Finca Altamira. Now for their Organic Rosé, in a UK launch perfectly timed for our current summer heatwave. It’s labelled as a single-variety Malbec, although strictly speaking, it’s a blend of 85% Malbec and 15% Syrah. As many will know, labelling rules mean that if a variety is stated, it must comprise at least 85% of the wine. This isn’t mentioned out of legal pedantry but because Syrah plays its part.
Argento in the Alto Agrelo
Today, Bodega Argento owns 1,100 hectares in the Mendoza region of Argentina, in the foothills of the Andes. This includes their vineyard in the Alto Agrelo.
The small Alto Agrelo area is part of the Luyán de Cuyo subzone of Mendoza. It occupies some of the best viticultural terroirs in Argentina. The Argento Alto Agrelo vineyard spans 232 hectares and comprises smaller varietal blocks. The Malbec and Syrah for the Rosé lie at 1,050 metres altitude. That’s 3,445 feet – about the height of Mount Snowden.
This height is necessary, bringing respite from the daily heat and with nightly temperature swings that preserve acidity. It also benefits from abundant sunshine, and the clear melt waters of the Andes mountains provide for the essential drip irrigation needed here. This being the southern hemisphere, harvests usually commence in February.
Argento is now one of the largest producers of organic wine in Mendoza, well on their way to achieving their goal of having 650 hectares certified as Organic by 2025. Their commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there. Wastewater recycling (including having a sewage plant), drip irrigation, composting waste matter, and 100% packaging recycling are in place. Additionally, there is full Fairtrade accreditation for all of its vineyards. This Rosé wine is also Vegan, as there are no animal products in the winemaking.
So does this wine live up to these excellent credentials?
Artesano de Argento, Organic Malbec Rosé, Alto Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. 2022. 12.5%
This wine is under a screwcap. That’s very sensible since this wine is all about youthful freshness; I bet 99% of bottles will be enjoyed on the day of purchase. Just pre-chill and twist to serve. The bottle is clear glass (as has become convention) to show off that fashionable pale pink colour. Hence a special plea for recycling afterwards. Recycled clear glass is always in shortage in the UK, and the glass bottle makers can’t get enough – so please, do your bit!
And colour is always an essential part of the appeal of Rosé. This one is über-fashionable, being that delicate light pink with a hint of orange, sometimes called pale onion skin. It compares well with the great Rosés of Provence and Chiaretto, a promise of sophistication, refinement and delicacy. It’s also the most difficult shade of Rosé to achieve consistently – and is likely why the small Syrah component is highly useful.
And the comparison doesn’t stop there. It comes in a refreshing bone dry style, without any hint of residual sugar clumsiness – and that also means it’s versatile, whether served as an apéritif or at the dining table. There’s cherry blossom and grassy scents before the palate offers up restrained cherry and redcurrant fruit leavened by a little orange pith. There’s a great balance of fruit with lithe acidity. Also noteworthy is that slippery texture essential for any good Rosé, leaving a refreshingly cool finish.
While Rosé is more than a seasonal summer drink, sunshine and warmth are undoubtedly key to the appeal. Al fresco dining, whether with BBQs, salads or picnics, will benefit. However, I can think of no finer activity than quietly watching our Swallows barrel-rolling over the back garden in the evening sun – accompanied by a glass of Rosé. Artesano fulfilled that role admirably!
This wine is available in the UK now in 342 Sainsbury’s stores and online at £10.00. A tenner – great value!
This wine is an ideal way to celebrate International Rosé Day, which is always held on the fourth Friday in June – so this year, that’s 23 June 2023. It’d be rude not to participate with a bottle of this wine!
Juan de la Cruz Videla
S/N Cruz de Piedra