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Argentina Red Bordeaux Varietal under £10

Find out who won this year's regional trophy...

Viñalba, Patagonia Cabernet-Merlot, Argentina 2009

Since its launch in 2008 Viñalba has had a brilliant trajectory at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Having won two Regional Trophies,that got them two International Trophies, with Malbec based wines, they are back this year but with a Cabernet Sauvignon. A tasty triumph for co-owner and winemaker Hervé Joyaux Fabre, himself a Bordelaise. “We are happy to have made a different blend, more European in style but with Argentine character.”

Fabre’s strong belief in local terroirs has taken him to make quite unique choices. Five years after founding his first winery in 1992, Fabre Montmayou in the Vistalba region in Mendoza, he bought a winery in Patagonia. He explains, “In Rio Negro, provided we are spared of April frosts, we can produce Cabernet Sauvignons of great quality”.

This Regional Trophy has 20% of Merlot because Fabre believes Merlots from this region are the best in Argentina and hold great potential of producing “grandes vinos.”

Like is the case with many other foreign winemakers there is a tale behind Joyaux’s initial curiosity in Patagonia. Twenty years earlier he had read a book “Moi, Antoine de Tounens, Roi de Patagonie” by Jean Raspail about the real story of a French lawyer who in the 1800s assumed the title of “King of the Araucanía and Patagonia Kingdom” and tried to create an independent estate.

Neither insane nor self-proclaimed like Tounens, Fabre could easily be mystified as a king of Patagonia (the Argentine side that would be) after his accrual of awards for Rio Negro.

Written by Marina Gayan MW

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