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2013 Bodegas Bórbore Aya Chardonnay, Tulum Valley, San Juan
Bodegas Borbore, founded in the 1930s by Italian immigrants, is a family run winery with a total of 325ha of vineyards distributed over five sites in the San Juan region.
San Juan, just north of the more famous Mendoza region, is the second largest wine producing region in Argentina, itself the fourth largest wine-producing country in the world. The modern winery, located in the Tulum Valley, makes a large range of wines from familiar and less familiar grape varieties, including the Italian red Bonarda and the local white speciality Torrontes.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
The province of San Juan is Argentina’s second biggest wine-producing region after Mendoza to its south. It spans across a series of valleys between the Andes and the Pie de Palo hills and its capital, San Juan, founded in 1562, and it was once called ‘The City of Statues’ by the writer Arturo Capdevila.
56% of the province’s productive area is given over to viticulture; in 2003 it had 47,000 hectares of vineyards. The province’s oldest (and best) wine-production area is the Tulum Valley.