It may seem as though I write quite frequently about Argentina and Argentine wine, and that is true. I did spend six weeks in the country back in 2017, which is the longest I’ve spent consecutively living and traveling around a country outside of the U.S., so needless to say, Argentina has a place in my heart.
Argentine wine also has a special place in my life, because as I recall as a young wine enthusiast, it was a bottle of Argentine Malbec that caught my attention first and really propelled me into drinking quality wines over the usual early 20’s “Two Buck Chucks” of the world. I’ll never forget that bottle, much like you never forget a first kiss or life-changing experience. Maybe I have that bottle to thank for the journey it started me on over 10 years ago.
Luigi Bosca, Argentina’s Oldest Family-Run Winery
So this brings me to last night with Luigi Bosca winemaker, Pablo Cúneo, at the swanky Setai Hotel on Miami Beach. We had the opportunity to taste through several of his Luigi Bosca classic range from some of the best vineyards on the estate in Mendoza. From Chardonnay to several different Malbecs, and Cabernet Sauvignon to a deep, inky red blend of Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Tannat, each wine was perfectly paired with dishes made by Setai Executive Chef, Vijayudu Veena.
Luigi Bosca was founded by Don Leoncio Arizu in 1901 and is now run by the third and fourth generations of the Arizu family, Alberto Jr. and Alberto Sr. Through almost 120 years of winemaking, the Arizu family has been a leader in the Argentine wine industry, including pioneering the establishment of the Lujan de Cuyo Denomination of Origin (DO) appellation in 1988 and championing quality winemaking in Argentina through biodynamics and biodiversity in the vineyards.
The key vineyards for the estate in Mendoza are located in the prime growing areas of Maipu, Tupungato and Lujan de Cuyo, and all sit at very high-altitudes up to about 1150 meters above sea level. What makes Argentine wine so special and unique compared to many other regions is the fact that these grapes are from high elevations where there is plenty of access to sunlight, but also drier climates where vines must struggle for water resources resulting in study plants with low yields and high-quality fruit.
Luigi Bosca has several lines of wines from the very economical “Finca La Linda” line (like my Biscayne Times column price range), to the classic “Luigi Bosca” wines, such as the ones we tasted last night, to very high-end “Icono” range of wines from specific vineyards with the highest quality grapes carefully selected by the family.
Each wine we enjoyed at the tasting with Pablo represented a very classic Argentine style, with structured tannins, dark fruit, and a rounded, full-body for the reds. For a taste of Argentine winemaking history, look out for the elegant Luigi Bosca high-elevation wines.
For another article about a pioneering Argentine winery, click here to read about Domaine Bousquet.