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Forbes praises inaugural Argentina Wine Awards

Published:  23 July, 2008

The entries at the inaugural Wines of Argentina awards have been dubbed difficult to beat'.

Judges from the UK and Argentina awarded medals to 80% of the wines entered at the competition, which was held in Mendoza. Eight out of nine trophy winners will retail in the UK for less than 10.

James Forbes, the UK director of Wines of Argentina, said: It goes a long way to proving my view that, when it comes to making wine of high quality at a price that everyone can afford, it is difficult to beat Argentina.'

Jancis Robinson MW admitted she had expected more overripe and over-alcoholic wines, but was surprised by the standard of entries. Overall the wines were much more sophisticated than they had been on my last visit in 2002.'

Two awards went to winemakers in their mid-20s: 24-year-old winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi took the sparkling wine trophy for his Alma 4 Chardonnay and Matias Riccitelli, 26, of Fabre Montmayou, won the Malbec category.

The red blend trophy went to Bodega Norton for its 2003 Norton Privada; Bodega Felix Lavaque took the Torronts trophy for its 2006 Quara Torronts; and the Syrah award went to the 2006 Finca Don Domenico de Huanacache Syrah from Don Demenico.

On the final day, more than 300 people from the Argentine wine industry attended a seminar entitled Successful wines and successful wine styles in the UK'. Each of the UK judges presented two wines that are successful in the UK market but not available in Argentina to highlight ideas on what Argentina could do best to succeed in the UK.

The trophy and gold medal-winning wines will be available to taste on 4 April at the Argentine embassy in London.

For more information, contact the UK Wines of Argentina office on 020 7629 7222.