• Original carinae mendoza.jpg?1470929466?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Have No Fear, Your Summer Argentine Wines Are Here
    On a recent trip to Mendoza, I did the expected: picked grapes (photo op!), took a wine tour (of course), and totally fell for the wines (how could I not?). What I hadn’t expected was the renegade, pioneering spirit of young winemakers in Argentina, many local and many French and Italian expats looking for freedom from Old World winemaking rules. Our guide, Ernie Solorzano of Mendoza Andes, was wise in all things Argentine wine (he even makes his own) and took us on an intense tour of the region’s most surprising bottles. Here are his picks for what to drink in Mendoza—and what to buy the next time you’re staring blankly at the wine shop shelves back home.
    Photo courtesy of Carinae
  • Original 3573162530 75d09d1e79 z.jpg?1470929682?ixlib=rails 0.3
    A Beach-Ready White
    WINERY: François Lurton Piedra Negra, Uco Valley

    KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: “Piedra Negra is a pioneer: It was the very first winery established in the Uco Valley. And because of it, they have a great knowledge of the area, their wines are superb, and they’re experimenting with different grapes that most people in Argentina haven’t even heard of.”

    THE BOTTLE TO BUY: Gran Lurton White (Corte Friulano) 2014, $23 “It’s a blend of three grapes: viognier, tokay, and a little bit of sauvignon blanc. The wine is like a super elegant lady: attractive, with personality and body—unforgettable.”

  • Original superuco %281%29.jpg?1470930795?ixlib=rails 0.3
    The Perfect Barbecue Red
    WINERY: SuperUco, Uco Valley

    KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: “The four Michelini brothers are trailblazers. They’re not following what’s trendy or what’s selling the most; they’re making wine that they like. Their approach is just as amazing: All wines are 100 percent organic and biodynamic, which means that the crops are watched according to the cycle of the moon and the position of the stars.”

    THE BOTTLE TO BUY: Calcareo Granito 2012, $39 “Even people who don’t like wine at all like this 100 percent malbec. It’s honest and gentle with dark fruit. It has a high element of acidity, which keeps the wine interesting, gives it nerve—and makes it great with barbecue. The acidity can cut through the fat of grilled meats. Let it breathe—it’s a little shy in the beginning.”
    Photo courtesy of SuperUco
  • Original carinae mendoza.jpg?1470929867?ixlib=rails 0.3
    A Malbec That’s a Vacation in a Bottle
    WINERY: Carinae, in the Maipú region west of Mendoza

    KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: “Maipú is the oldest winemaking region in Mendoza. This small project is run by two French people who didn’t know anything about wine but bought this rundown winery with a working vineyard and hired some consultants. Fast-forward to today, and they make one of the most authentic malbecs I can think of, plus a syrah that reminds me of those made in the South of France.”

    THE BOTTLES TO BUY: Finca Denesa Malbec, $17. “This is one of the most honest authentic examples of malbec you can find—and it’s a great price as well. It’s good for someone who comes to Argentina thinking they want to drink malbec.”

    “If you want to go beyond malbec, the Hommage Syrah is what I really love from them. Though this wine ages very well, I prefer recent vintages like 2014 and 2015.”
    Photo courtesy of Carinae
  • Original 3constanza.jpg?1470930382?ixlib=rails 0.3
    A Crowd-Pleasing Cab
    WINERY: Bodega Caelum, in the Luján de Cuyo region

    KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: “All the wines from this winery have an element of minerality and acidity. The winemaker is Italian, so he has that Italian style of winemaking in which wines are sharp and acidic and meant to be aged for extended periods of time.”

    THE BOTTLE TO BUY: Reserva Cabernet 2013, $40 “They make a nice cabernet sauvignon and also a very nice malbec. Just 20 percent of the cabernet is fermented in oak; the rest is fermented in stainless steel. So the wine is very soft. It does have personality, but it’s more down the lines of black currants.”
    Photo courtesy of Caelum
  • Original 14.jpg?1470929536?ixlib=rails 0.3
    A Merlot for Those Almost-Fall Nights
    WINERY: Laureano Gomez, Uco Valley

    KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: “Laureano Gomez is a highly regarded winemaker in Argentina because he spent time in Mendoza’s biggest wineries and now is on his own in the Uco Valley. He makes incredible wines through sustainable and honest farming practices.”

    THE BOTTLE TO BUY: Merlot Reserva Valle de Uco Mendoza 2013, $35. “This merlot is super velvety and dark and delicious and bold. A lot of people still disregard merlot because of Sideways, but when you come to Argentina and you’ve been drinking malbec, malbec, malbec, and then all of a sudden you come across a wine that stops you in your tracks—it’s incredible.”
    Photo courtesy of Laureano Gomez
  • Original 2480468515 e221cd833e z.jpg?1470938625?ixlib=rails 0.3

Have No Fear, Your Summer Argentine Wines Are Here

The best wines to travel for—and the best bottles to find at home