Quick Sips — 03 October 2014
Five wines to toast Hispanic Heritage month

By Bob Hosmon and Mark Gauert

October is part of Hispanic Heritage Month, and our favorite way to celebrate is with well-made wines from Latin America.

The Grey Single Block Carménère from Chile’s Maipo Valley ($24).  If you like a first-rate merlot, you’re going to love this richly flavored red that has a touch of petit verdot in the blend and ends with a smooth finish on the palate. – B.H.

You’re also going to love the Santa Rita Pehuén ($70).  A blend of carménère and cabernet sauvignon, this limited production, elegant red is made from grapes grown in a 70-year-old vineyard in Chile’s famous Apalta Valley.  It’s worth every peso. – B.H.

Want to celebrate with something in white?  Then opt for the Tomero Torrontés ($17), produced from native torrontés vines grow near Salta, Argentina.  One sip will make you think of a well-made sauvignon blanc with hints of white grapefruit on the palate.  I love this wine with ceviche. – B.H.

If you want a wine that you’ve never had before, you might try the Bodega Garzón Tannat ($20) from Uruguay.  Produced from Uruguay’s signature grape, this richly flavored red ends with a silky finish on the palate.   The Bodega Garzón Albariño ($17) is a refreshing white and reminds me of the better Spanish albariños I’ve tasted. –B.H.

Achaval-Ferrer winemaker Santiago Achaval describes the 2013 Mendoza Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon (both $25) as “dangerously good.” (How, then, can we resist?) The Malbec is indeed a floral gift basket of blackberry, raspberry, violet; the cabernet is all juicy red fruit, truffles and peppers; and both wines have finishes to spare. Delicious, not dangerous. So why “dangerously” good?” “Because you want to keep going back for more,” Achaval says. ¿Cómo no?- M.G.


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