South American wines appeared in U.S. wine shops in the early 1990s, and they quickly gained a reputation for value. Here, four of Chile and Argentina’s best bottles.
Classic Wines from Chile and Argentina:
2009 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes ($15)
If there’s a single wine responsible for the growing interest in this extravagantly aromatic white grape, this is it. Made by one of Argentina’s greatest winemakers, it’s both luscious and crisp—a rare combination.
2004 Bodegas Weinert Malbec ($24)
Weinert has been producing benchmark Argentinean bottlings since the 1970s. This Malbec has the complex red fruit, spice notes and intensity of flavor that make the grape so compelling.
2007 Concha y Toro Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc ($29)
Chile’s Casablanca Valley makes world-class Sauvignon Blanc. This bottling combines the flintiness of a great Loire Sauvignon Blanc with cut-grass and passion fruit notes.
2006 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta ($80)
Clos Apalta was one of the first wines to show that Chile could do more than produce simple value reds. Chocolaty and rich with dark-berry flavors, it’s a blend of Carmenère, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
Wine Advice & Pairings:
Mark Oldman on Affordable Wines