Region: Río Negro, Patagonia, Argentina
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Peach, Minerals, Lemon Citrus
Pairings: Steamed or sauteed fish (e.g., Opakapaka, Halibut, Cod), poke, crab salad, green vegetables, fresh herbs and vinaigrette
Price (approximately): $16
Looking for something off the beaten path? This blanco de Pinot Noir is a good candidate. All the way to the south of Argentina lies Patagonia, a cool and dry climate that is heavily influenced by the Antarctic. The wines from this region are characteristically less intense than other Argentina regions, but pleasantly dry and well-structured. This wine fits the profile nicely.
This wine is crisp and almost effervescent on the palate, with strong flavors of apple and lemon citrus (maybe a touch of lime as well). As the wine warmed, some subtle stone fruit arrived at the party, predominantly peach. Balancing the wine on the palate was structured minerality and bright acidity. Pleasant, round flavors, great acidity and a long finish. This is a good chance to get out of the box and try something a little different. It is (sadly) not easy, at least locally in Honolulu, to procure wines from Patagonia, and blanco de Pinot Noir is not a style you come across with regularity.
Sold at Fujioka's Wine Times in Honolulu.
As a fun musing to discuss over a glass, Patagonia's name, colloquially meaning "Land of the Bigfeet" (though the etymology is not entirely clear), was derived from Ferdinand Magellan, who found the natives to be giants in comparison to the small European explorers.