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wine of the week 23/11/2008

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  Argento (Argentina) Artesano Chardonnay 2007
Argento, a joint project between Bibendum Wines of the UK and Nicolas Catena of Argentina, is one of the most recognisable names on wines UK shelves. They have just introduced two brand new wines under the 'Artesano' label - this Chardonnay and a fine Malbec/Cabernet/Shiraz blend which is not yet in shops. The wines are both from the premium Uco Valley district of Mendoza, and are made from some of the oldest vines in the valley. Around 50% of the Chardonnay was fermented and aged in French oak barrels, and the nose has quite an opulent cashew nut and honey character, as well as rich, dried apricot fruit with a hint of lime. On the palate there is no denying the power and substance of this wine, with concentrated fruit that is peachy and ripe, but cut by vivid acidity and that background support of the toasty, nutty oak. A very nicely-pitched Chardonnay this, and delivering genuine complexity for the price. £8.99, Majestic, but buy 2 @ £6.99 each until December 1st 2008.