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Wine Review: Argentina steps in if problems arise in California

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The gloom-and-doom boys are at it again predicting recent flooding and cold weather in California’s wine country could have a dilatory effect on grapes. They say we may be doomed to a miserable vintage in 2017.

Since I am not an expert on agronomy, I consulted someone who is, Jim Cameron of Ryan Lawn & Tree in Springfield.

According to Cameron, the recent flooding may be a blessing in disguise. To begin with, Northern California has had drought conditions for the past several years, and the rain definitely will help replenish the aquifer. The flooding will help to eliminate many of the insects that can damage a vine or its fruit.

But what will it do to the vines and the quality of fruit they will produce? If there is no early frost in the spring, all should proceed as normal. If there is any problem with the California wines, however, there is always Argentina. The weather in the Mendoza province has been perfect and the latest wines from Alamos proves that in style.

Alamos 2015 Malbec ($10)
A malbec wine is about as Argentinean as one can get. The Alamos 2015 Malbec is alive with the aromas and flavors of plum and spice, with coffee and vanilla dancing in the background. This is a wine that can be enjoyed with any of red meats, as well as many Mexican or Italian dishes. The Alamos 2015 Malbec is an interesting sidestep from traditional red wines. You should become acquainted with it as a relief from the rising prices of our domestic varieties.

Alamos 2015 Torrontes ($10)
Torrontes grapes are a white variety that, like the malbec, thrive in Argentina. The Alamos 2015 Torrontes is an excellent dry white wine that begs to be enjoyed with all sorts of seafood and is a standout with lobster or shellfish. It is a soft fruity wine, which stresses violets, jasmine and spice in the aroma. Peach, citrus and tropical fruits dominate the flavor that trails off to a bright crisp finish. This is a great choice to expand your white wine horizons.

Alamos 2014 Red Blend ($9)
Here, the winemakers have blended an Argentinean fruit basket into a fine wine. Starting with the indigenous red wine grapes malbec, tempranillo and bonarda, they created a wine indicative of the Argentinean character. The aroma displays dark red summer fruits, vanilla and spice. The flavor is a kaleidoscope of all the red fruits you can imagine, with cherries and plum being the most obvious. These flavors carry through to the long and intensely fruity finish. The wine is soft and easy to enjoy and pairs with many modern meat and poultry dishes. This variety can prove fruitful when one tires of the usual fare.

Alamos 2015 Chardonnay ($10)
Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in the world, and deservedly so. It can take many forms and styles and is capable of pleasing almost any palate. The Alamos 2015 Chardonnay has its flavor and aroma mid-way between the California style of presenting the tropical fruit possibilities of the grape and the French style that is more subdued and accents apple and pear. A light and attractive golden color announces the prominent aromas of pineapple, citrus, melon and vanilla. These aromas continue right through to the flavor where they are joined by pear and a hint of butterscotch in the background. Here, too, the finish is long, complex and fruity. While bashing chardonnay wines has become a favorite pastime of wine writers, this wine can and will stand up to critical examinations.

Nixa resident Bennet Bodenstein is a wine columnist and manages Facebook.com/ArticlesOnWine. He can be reached at ben@articlesonwine.com.

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