Argentina lines up its best for scrutiny

12 January, 2007

Eight British wine experts will join four Argentinian winemakers next month to judge the first Argentina Wine Awards.

T he judges, including Oz Clarke and Jancis Robinson MW, will blind taste 480 Argentinian wines during the three-day competition at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Mendoza, Argentina. It is hoped the awards, which start on Feb 19, will have a double purpose, both raising awareness of Argentinian wines and educating winemakers about the UK market.

Wines of Argentina UK director James Forbes said: "In theory, Argentina seems to have everything the UK buyer could want - world-class wines with real variety and character, near-organic farming and some of the most favourable foreign exchange rates imaginable.

"In practice, with its patchy representation in the UK, allied to distance and language barriers, it can be difficult for buyers, both trade and consumer alike, to get to grips with Argentina as a source of good wine."

Wines in the competition will be categorised by price and grape variety.

Judges will award bronze, silver and gold medals to wines and all gold medal wines will be re-tasted with trophies awarded to the best in category.

Awards will also be given to best red and best white of show at a ceremony on Feb 22.

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