97 Pt Chardonnay From "the finest producer in Argentina at the moment" (WA)
If you like to buy and drink wines with incredible energy, purity and elegance allied to world-class quality, Zuccardi of Mendoza in Argentina should be on your radar. For Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate, The level of precision here is amazing” and “they might very well be the finest producer in Argentina at the moment”. He goes on to state that the 2021s are “some of their best whites to date”, so I am delighted to have cases of this 97-point 2021 Fosil and Botanico Chardonnay 2021 to offer.
We were lucky enough to sample them on location earlier this year, and they live up to the billing. Under winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi, full use is made of the exquisite terroirs where the mineral-driven soils are allowed to shine thanks to minimal interference in the winery. It’s a brave strategy as these are incredibly transparent and translucent wines, but it has worked wonderfully.
Each of these is magnificent, racy, nervy and lean – if Arnaud Ente made Chardonnay in Mendoza, it might taste like this. We loved them, as did the critics. For Joaquin Hidalgo of Vinous, the Fosil is “expansive freshness that brings nuance and depth” and is “ethereal and saline”. For Luis Gutierrez, the Botanico is “clean, precise, subtle, elegant, transparent, balanced and symmetric, with purity and clarity”. Each wine achieved a massive 97 points from its respective critic.
Quantities are limited, and given the price and the quality here, we’re not expecting them to hang around for long.
2021 Zuccardi, Fosil Chardonnay
(6*75cl OWC) @ £250 per case in bond
97 points Vinous (Joaquin Hidalgo)
The 2021 Chardonnay Fósil from San Pablo, Uco Valley was 30% aged in 500-liter barrels, the rest in concrete. Yellow in the glass. The nose offers notes of linden blossom, apple, country herbs and a hint of huacatay, a mountain herb. Dry in the mouth with a chalky feel and expansive freshness that brings nuance and depth; the flow is ethereal and saline while the finish lingers at leisure. The conditions that year really helped to dial up the quality, surpassing previous vintages. A complex, refined expression, tight like the best bands and continuing the austere spirit with which Fósil made its name. (2022) www.vinous.com Drink 2022-2031
2021 Zuccardi, Botanico Chardonnay
(6*75cl OWC) @ £250 per case in bond
97 points Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez)
The new white 2021 Botánico comes from their two vineyards in the Monasterio part of Gualtallary, the informal division of the zone (still not approved due to bureaucratic problems with the name), and is a lieu-dit or paraje wine. This is very austere, sharp and mineral, reminiscent of a Chablis. This was harvested very early, almost one month earlier than the Fósil from San Pablo, as Gualtallary ripens earlier. It fermented and matured 70% in concrete eggs and 30% in used 500-liter oak barrels; but there is no aromatic or flavor influence from the oak, as they want to keep the wine as transparent as possible with the character from the soils—limestone and caliche calcareous stone. This has 13% alcohol, a pH of 3.23 and 7.36 grams of acidity. It’s clean, precise, subtle, elegant, transparent, balanced and symmetric ,with purity and clarity. It has a shaper palate with effervescent sensation of chalk with lemon juice, with lots of energy. This should develop nicely in bottle. I’d like to have a time machine to see what this does at age 15… 5,000 bottles were filled in December 2021. I had the chance to taste the still unbottled 2022, and it felt every bit as good as this. (2022) www.robertparker.com Drink 2022-2029
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