Each week I taste a lot of different wines. The quality, intent and price ranges of these differ greatly. I’m always interested in what the producer’s intent was when making a wine. Are they looking to make the type of value you can afford to drink everyday and find anywhere for $10? Are they looking to create a wine that might get high scores? Are they looking to just make great wine? After considering intent the other thing I look for in wines that I write about are selections that speak to me. Several months ago I had the Urraca wines at a large scale tasting in Manhattan. They left a real impression and I thought about them from time to time. So much so that I decided I need to retry them and see if they were as impressive as I recalled. Over the next couple of days I’ll look at three selections. I’ll start today with their Chardonnay. The 2007 Urraca Chardonnay is produced from grapes sourced in their own 5 acre Chardonnay Vineyard. This selection is 100% Chardonnay. Oak aging was accomplished over a 6 month period in French barrels. Just 250 cases of this offering were produced. The suggested retail price is $37.
The nose of this Argentine Chardonnay is an apple orchard with touches of cedar and vanilla underscoring the lively fruit aromas. Continued apple, pear, and zesty lemon notes are prominent throughout the palate. In the mid-palate hints of smokiness kick in and continue through finish which also features significant mineral notes and touches of spice. This wine has excellent acidity and good structure.
What impresses me most about this Chardonnay is its balance. The oak treatment adds complexity but never comes close to obtruding the fresh fruit flavors. This wine is an absolutely gorgeous expression of Chardonnay. There are a lot of fine Chardonnays coming out of Argentina, many of them in the value category. This example from Urraca is a step up from most of them in complexity, age-ability, and yes price. However the quality of this wine warrants the price. If a wine of this quality had a Burgundy or Napa appellation on it the cost would be closer to $60. Therefore this Chardonnay fulfills it's intent of being a world class offering. Please stay tuned as I look at two more wines from Urraca this week!