Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Wine Club: great value picks from Argentina’s Penedo Borges

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Well, crikey, that was fun! The recent inaugural Spectator tour of Champagne, that is. We had a hoot, visiting five producers and enjoying two first-rate dinners courtesy of Taittinger and Pol Roger. We learned lots, laughed lots, drank lots and I don’t think a single spittoon was sullied during the entire trip. Bravo!

Oh, and hats off to Peter Brown who came top of the rigorous end of tour examination and who got a bottle of Pol for his troubles. Well done, Peter!

After a week of fizz, though, however swanky the wines (and some were very swanky), it’s a joy to encounter some tasty still wines of great value such as these we’re offering here. All come from Penedo Borges, a state-of-the-art boutique bodega in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, a sub-region of Mendoza, Argentina, and are shipped exclusively into the UK by our partners, Mr Wheeler. Here, at 1,050 metres in the foothills of the Andes, it’s both sunny and cool, perfect conditions for harvesting fully ripened grapes with great colour, structure and freshness.

The 2021 Penedo Borges Prisma Single Vineyard Gran Chardonnay (1) is our solitary white, part of which is aged in oak and part in steel. With lively freshness and an enticing creaminess plus hints of peach, vanilla and baked apple, it’s extremely classy. Only 750 cases made. £16.50 down from £17.95.

The 2020 Penedo Borges Cepas Single Vineyard Malbec (2) shows just how brightly Malbec shines in Mendoza since its arrival from France in the 1860s. A deep, dark red, it’s rich, fruity, soft and full of damsons, cherries and blackcurrants with just a hint of vanilla. Why have French Malbec if you can have this? £12.95 down from £13.95.

The 2020 Penedo Borges Cepas Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc (3) is a wonderful example of one of my favourite grapes.

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