El Montanista
Criollas Blancas, 2021

Valle de Calingasta, Argentina

£22.80

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El Montanista
Criollas Blancas, 2021

Valle de Calingasta, Argentina

£22.80

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SIZE:
75cl

'...but it's all heart, and the structure is impeccable. Just the sort of wine that exemplifies how breakout the wine world now is...' - Jancis Robinson MW

This beautiful white blend puts the 'Criolla' grapes front and centre. Sourced from stunning 80-year-old vines, these include Torrontés Sanjuanino, Torrontés Mendocino, Malvasías Criollas and Maticha. Clean and fragrant, with fresh lemon acidity, herbaceous sorrel-leaf and a saline, stony finish. This truly Argentine wine celebrates the country's amazing wine history through its 'Criolla' grapes and unique, Mountainous terroir.

16.5
Jancis Robinson MW

Full bottle just 1,165 g. This is actually labelled Criollas Blancas, the grapes that have traditionally been responsible for Argentina's everyday wines but were waiting to be rediscovered. 80-year-old vines grown in a region with an extreme diurnal temperature variation. Aged for 10 months in concrete eggs. Very modern label. Made by Pancho Bugallo. There's a little Muscat-and-mint note on the nose and it's a bit astringent on the end but it's all heart, and the structure is impeccable. Just the sort of wine that exemplifies how breakout the wine world now is. Arguably this appeals more to the mind than the palate but I love that it exists.

About El Montanista

'El Montanista, are a breath of fresh air in South American winemaking. They rip up the 'Modern' Argentinian rule book by celebrating old vine 'Criolla' grape varieties, rather than focusing on famed international grapes e.g. Malbec.

'Criolla' varieties are descended from the first grapes brought to South America by the Conquistadors in the 16th Century. 'Criolla' is a catch all term to refer to these, but in reality there are a mind boggling number of different varieties - in Argentina alone, there are thought to be at least 54. Though despite their history and wide-spread plantings, they're often overlooked in favour of more well known and popular varieties.

El Montanista is changing the game in Calingasta Valley just north of Mendoza. They have a wealth of 80+ year old 'Criolla' in their arsenal, grown organically, harvest by hand, and aged in concrete eggs - which has a similar effect to oak ageing, minus the oaky flavours.

Their wines are pure terroir distilled into a bottle. This is drinking Argentina. Fragrant, pure and vivid wines that capture the history of this amazing country through its oldest varieties, using techniques that elevate their flavours rather than mask them.

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