It is so funny how we stick with what we know. Before moving to Argentina, Achaval Ferrer was one of the few Argentine wines that I was incredibly familiar with: when I worked at The Wine Bank, we carried several of their wines, including their beautiful Quimera blend, which changes from year to year depending on the whim (and the instincts) of the winemaker. Within our initial week in BA, we attended our first tasting: not surprisingly, it featured Achaval Ferrer. And when we spent three weeks in Mendoza, Achaval Ferrer was one of the first wineries that I called to schedule a tour. Shock and surprise: it was also one of our favorite bodegas.
Why dote on Achaval Ferrer so much? I put together a little list of reasons for my dear readers as to why this is THE wine they should try from Argentina, if they had to choose just one:
- Terroir is number one at A.F.
We hear a lot about terroir in the wine world, but Achaval Ferrer takes it to another level: their single vineyard Malbecs (Finca Bella Vista, Finca Altamira, and Finca Mirador) are wines made from grapes from three different plots of land. The flavor profiles of the wines are very different: if ever you wanted to understand how wine from one little piece of land could be so very different from another, tasting these wines side-by-side would be the way to do so.
- They go au naturale with their winemaking
If you tour Achaval Ferrer, you won’t see men and women in white lab coats working tediously in laboratories. You won’t hear the staff talking about various high-tech winemaking techniques. In fact, you’ll probably hear them joke about how “lazy” they are as a winemaking staff: they simply pick the grapes and let them “do their thing” in the fermentation tanks. No added yeasts, no messing with the grapes… nothing. The terroir (there’s that word again!) and the grapes do all the talking, and I like what they’re saying.
- Achaval Ferrer is the highest rated winery in Argentina
I know, I’ve said before that I am not big on ratings and “scoring” wines. But the accolades do speak for themselves: time and again, Achaval Ferrer comes out on top. And for good reason: their wines are top-notch.
- Their wines are available throughout the States
The U.S. is the primary importer of Achaval Ferrer, and their wines can be found throughout wine stores. I can’t stand it when I read about a wine and then can’t find it anywhere! This probably won’t be the case with A.F.
Ok, back to the wine itself…
Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2009 Tasting Notes
The Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2009 is a wine with tons of fruit, a lot of depth, balance and elegance. Its soft tannins are round and supple, and the wine is so beautiful that you could drink it on its own (although I of course recommend pairing it with some delicious meat!). It is an absolutely beautiful wine that shows all that the Malbec grape has to offer, and illustrates just how sophisticated Argentine wines can be.
For any person who claims that they wouldn’t know a good wine from a bad one, I challenge them to drink a bottle of this wine. Better yet, drink it alongside another bottle from your local supermarket: the differences will be astounding. It is the perfect way to understand words like “elegance” and “silky” and “balance”… and it’s a good excuse to drink an amazing wine!