When it comes to wine, Argentina is best known for Malbec, the easy-drinking, full-bodied red wine. However, the same climate and altitude conditions that make the Uco Valley in the Mendoza region of Argentina ideal for Malbec also make it ideal for other wine grape varieties. Chardonnay is one of those varieties.
Situated on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains in a high-desert-like climate, the Uco Valley offers a long growing season with plenty of sunshine to help grapes fully ripen, and cool nights that allow the grapes to maintain acidity in the wines they produce. There is little rainfall during the growing season, with irrigation from mountain run-off being the main source of water, creating a beneficial stress to vines that improves the wine-making quality of the grapes.
Chardonnay grapes grown in Uco Valley’s sunny-but-cool conditions display rich flavours, intense aromas, lively acidity and mineral notes from the soils in the area. These conditions give Uco Valley Chardonnays characteristics of both French and Californian Chardonnays. However, the price point of Uco Valley Chardonnays of similar quality is much less than either their French of Californian counterparts.
In August, West Indies Wine Company will offer two Uco Valley wines from the Trivento Golden Reserve lines — a Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the Chardonnay — at the sale price of CI$14.99.
Trivento is owned by Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer. Trivento’s Golden Reserve Chardonnay routinely scores between 90 and 92 points with wine critics, making it an excellent value at its typical price point. With 25 per cent off at West Indies Wine Company this month, these wines are an even better value.