There are Argentine wines that you find on many many… many restaurant wine lists around Buenos Aires. The names of all of the biggest wineries in Argentina usually top the list. They are Catena Zapata, Bodegas Lopez, Zuccardi, Trapiche, Bianchi and… Nieto Senetiner.
While we do not ever work with any of these wines at our wine tastings in Buenos Aires, we still think it is a good idea to give you and idea of what these wines are like and what we think of them…. after all they are very very widely distributed and easy to find, which has its benefits. It does not matter how good a wine is if you can’t get it!
Last week I went with my wife to a local Buenos Aires restaurant called Las Cholas. I have reviewed Las Cholas in the past saying that it was one of the best deals in the city if you want to eat the way local portenos eat (meaning instead of filet mignon steak, you eat flank steak and short ribs which are the typical Argentine cuts of beef). Now Las Cholas is still a great deal: you can get a parrillada completa – an enormous grill brought to your table with asado, vacio, entrana, pollo, chorizo, rinon, chinchulin, salchicha parrillera, and papas fritas! (Translation: short ribs, flank steak, skirt steak, chicken, chorizo sausage, kidney, intestine, grill sausange and fries… jeez!) All that for 125 pesos (it used to be cheaper).
*But there is a tradeoff*!! The service is absolutely awful. Get ready to wait for 15 minutes for your menu…. get ready for attitude from the waiter. And… no wine glasses.
Anyway, we ordered a bottle of the Nieto Senetiner Malbec to go with our parrillada. I have to say that for an 85 peso bottle of wine, it was decent. It had plenty of fruit up front with a medium body. The finish fell off a little bit but overall the wine was good. This Malbec has 6 to 8 months in 3rd use oak barrels so you don’t get much of an oak profile… just a hint. This is basically a Malbec that you should drink young as it does not have the concentration, acid or tannin to age.
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