On August 9 and 10, Chilecito, La Rioja (Argentina), hosted the sixth edition of the Evaluation of Argentina’s North-western Wines 2012 (Evinor). Over 50 samples from La Rioja, Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán and Córdoba were submitted to the event.
The jury panel was comprised by top winemakers from different places of Argentina: Claudia Quini, Ángel Mendoza, Jorge Nazrala, Estela Jaime, Mauricio Lorca, Alberto Castro, Aurelio Sesto, Oscar Manini Nacusi, Jorge Ruitti, and Rodolfo Griguol.
“Evinor is an important engine for the prestige of the wine activity of the region which is positioning as a high-quality wine region. It is worthy to remember that La Rioja was previously considered a region producing bulk wine instead of high-end bottled wines. This concept changed when companies started getting involved in this process and Evinor was the way to stimulate this change,” highlighted Mario Gonzalez, president of the organization committee.
The event was divided into two days. The first day consisted of technical lectures on different aspects respecting both the vineyard and the winemaking process. On the other hand, in the second day, the 10 best samples of 2012 were tasted, including Torrontés, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, and Sauvignon Blanc wines.
Claudia Quini, president of the International Wine Organization (OIV), took part of the jury assessing the samples and during an interview with WineSur commented: “in general terms, the new edition of Evinor had good results. As regards Torrontés, we stressed the interesting typicity of the region. This year, we counted on the presence of Cafayate, so we tasted different fine Torrontés wines. Some of them displayed more vegetable character, others were more aromatic, and others lighter, easy drinking. There is a great diversity regarding how Torrontés may be offered to the world, something that excites me a lot.”
During the interview, Quini pointed out that she was pleasantly surprised by the wide array of profiles she could perceive from the same grape variety, as in the case of Torrontés, from the assessed area.
Likewise, she added: “we also tasted Malbecs. Among the selected samples, there was a Sauvignon Blanc from the region, very fruity. This reflects what can be made in the region, achieving a typicity that conveys what the Argentine land is when winemaking is carried out with quality and technology.”
La Rioja is also subject to the national average in terms of wine production. In this sense, data provided by the National Institute of Viticulture (INV) shows that Chilecito, by May 6 of this year, accounted for the worst harvest in volume of the last decade, reporting only 77,736,761 kilos. While in 2011, by that date, it has garnered a total amount of 102,709,508 kilos and in 2010, around 82,235,840 kilos.
The good news is that in the amount reported from January to May, La Rioja’s export experienced an increase in terms of value. This province exported 5 million dollars in this period of 2012, 32.1% more than in 2011; though the average price fell not only in this province but also in Mendoza and San Juan.
Translation: Carolina Lucesole