It is hard to believe that Viognier as a grape variety was almost extinct in the 1980’s and now it is filling such a huge gap in the market for those consumers who like wines that are a little bit fuller bodied but who don’t like Chardonnay or the oaky style that often comes with it. These Viognier grapes are grown in the high altitude vineyards of Mendoza between 800 and 1100 metres above sea level. These premium and highly sought after vineyards are often reserved exclusively for the Malbec grape but it is equally perfect for white wines. The vineyards get lovely and warm during the day which helps to ripen the grapes but they get really cold at night. This massively slows down the ripening period and allows the grapes to develop lots of complex characteristics. Yields are limited meaning the vine can focus all of its energy on producing fewer grapes, these grapes are subsequently better quality and more flavoursome. The quality is then enhanced further by the judicious grape selection process.
The multi award winning Los Haroldos is a family owned, family run winery which has now been passed on through 3 generations. The front of the bottle shows their journey which started with a young man (Don Lolo Falasco) taking bottles of wine into Buenos Aires in the basket on the front of his bicycle to sell. They then followed their dreams and moved to Mendoza to build a winery which is now full of state-of-the-art winemaking equipment. They are producing a wide range of award-winning wines at varying price points and awarding body Harpers Wine Stars confirms that with their latest vintages “they continue to produce excellent wines with a very good price-quality relationship”, in other words – the wines are fantastic value for money. Chacabuco is an unoaked range focused on primary fruit character and named after the suburb of Buenos Aires where the family originated.
Classic Viognier characteristics of peach and apricot fruit shine through here and really dominate the palate but some floral notes sneak in too creating a really balanced wine. Medium bodied but maintaining a freshness and vibrancy with a long yet soft finish. Absolutely beautiful!
The fuller bodied nature of this wine makes it perfect with roasted white meats, try it with pork belly.