Last Friday evening at the Jericho Wine Room was a special evening indeed.

Our guest was the winemaker Karim Mussi –  the Mendoza-based producer of premium Argentinian wines made artisanally and with imagination and innovation.

Karim is a man with a big personality and a passion for the wines of Argentina. He was almost evangelical in his enthusiasm for his craft and for the untapped potential that he sees in Argentinian winemaking.

In a tasting flight of six wines, how many do you think were Malbec? Astonishingly – just one!

Karim was committed to demonstrating the breadth of possibilities for Argentinian wines and is a pioneer in the use of grape varieties that are unusual for the region and yet perfectly suited to the ‘terroir’ of his vineyards.

The wines we tasted were:

Los Poetas Semillon 2019 – A fresh, citrus-led style of white wine that is a welcome alternative to the Chardonnays and Torrontes commonly found in this part of South America.

Bodega Alandes Paradoux White Blend (5th Edition) – A blockbuster of the Bordeaux white style using barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc, blended with Semillon. A creamy textured wine of great complexity and length. This wine is already a favourite on our shelves.

Then the first of two reds from the Alto Cedro winery in the Ano Cero series. These are unoaked and pure styles that seek to accentuate the fruit character of single varietal red wines.

The Tempranillo, already known to us and on the OWC shelves, is a deep, glorious immersion into the red and black cherry fruit characters of Tempranillo (The principle grape of Rioja wines in it’s Spanish homeland)

Then, Karim introduced us to his Alto Cedro Malbec. Karim has crafted this wine in a manner from start to finish that celebrates the red plum and black berry fruit of the variety. Pure and unobscured by flavours from oak barrel ageing, the wine is produced in inert vessels and fermented at a low temperature to preserve the personality of the Malbec grape.

After these we tasted two more Bodega Alandes wines – Paradoux red blend (6th edition) – an intensely concentrated blend of five red Bordeaux varieties that harmonise in a wine to be taken very seriously.

Finally, we finished with Karim’s Gran Cabernet Franc. The depth and intensity of this wine has to be tasted to be believed. Full bodied and bursting with brooding black berries and currants, with a lick of graphite and that green herbaceous quality that is the signature of the variety.

Each of these last two are stocked by OWC and they are wines that we are proud to have on our shelves. Like all Karim’s wines they are a celebration of the grapes and the land that they have grown in, lovingly created by a man whose own roots in Argentina are just as deep.