Molded by a French winemaker and nurtured by Argentinian soil, Terrazas de los Andes have forged a truly distinct national style. Utilizing the country’s unique terroir, Terrazas have put a focus on high elevation grape curation by matching specific varieties to specific altitudes. This is what has helped them create wines that range from fruit-forward to deep and complex.
It is this variety of flavor and reflection of terroir that make Terrazas a fantastic option for wine drinkers in the Philippines. If you’re looking to expand your palate, Terrazas will exemplify terroir-specific expressions of different varieties. This is also a fantastic wine for those who want to experience a national new world expression of their favorite variety.
In other words, no matter your taste preferences or what you're looking for, Terrazas will have something for you. Learn more about what sets Terrazas apart from the rest as well as some tasting notes on their Altos del Plata and Reserva ranges.
First, let's take a brief look into their history. Terrazas’ vineyards can be dated back to the 19th century when Italian, Spanish, and Italian immigrants came to Argentina. These pioneering people combined their European winemaking techniques with the irrigation systems implemented by Inca and Huarpe people. It is this successful marriage of techniques that caught the eye of Renaud Poirier in 1952. The then chief winemaker at Moet & Chandon, Poirier travelled to Argentina to research the potential for wine production in the country and met his match at the foot of the Andes in Mendoza.
This then led to the set up of Moet & Chandon’s first subsidiary in Argentina in 1959: Bodegas Chandon, which was also the first French capital winery in South America. Then 1999 officially saw the creation of Terrazas de los Andes, which combines all of its inherited cultures and influences to produce beautiful wines that express true national identity.
But what is it exactly about Terrazas that sets them apart from the rest? As alluded to earlier, the answer lies in terroir. In fact, Terrazas’ core wine philosophy rests on Argentina’s primary advantage of high altitude vineyards and unique soil compositions. Their mainland strip of vineyards run along the base of the Andes, lying 800-1600m above sea level, and is split between two key regions: Mendoza and Salta.
One of the key wine regions for Terrazas, and Argentina as a whole, is Mendoza. This area is at the heart of Argentine wine, counting for about 80% of wine production. Vineyards here can be found along a 240km strip of the Andes foothills planted on terraces varying between 800-1250m above sea level. Rainfall here is scarce at only 200mm/year. This combination of factors results in one of the most arid wine regions in the world. However, the low humidity makes it easier to keep vines healthy and high altitudes means that there are warm, sunny days for grapes to flourish followed by cold nights that slow down ripening.
Salta on the other hand is known as the highest grape growing region in the world, with vineyards at 1,500-3,000m altitude. It is here that the Torrontés wine grapes — considered to be the most genuine product of Argentina — are grown. A fruity grape that expresses tropical, citric, and floral aromas, Torrontés showcases the diversity and uniqueness of Argentina.
What both of these Argentine wine regions have in common are their relatively extreme conditions. They have some of the highest levels of sun exposure in South America coupled with the coldest nights. But what does this mean for the wine we drink? As we mentioned above, cold nights help slow the ripening process. Then the arid and rocky soil offers a low level of organic elements so roots have to go deeper to find nutrients and hydration. What this combination creates are wine grapes with an intensified flavor and a balanced acidity.
Now that we have some background on how Terrazas grow their grapes, we can explore the wines from two of their ranges: Altos del Plata and Reserva.
The Altos del Plata range from Terrazas as a whole can be described as the fruity expression of single varietals grown at their optimum altitude in the foothills of Cordon del Plata. Under this range you can find a Chardonnay, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Yellow with golden hues, the Altos del Plata Chardonnay has fresh and fruity characters of white peach, pear, and pineapple. It provides a complex and elegant nose of white rose and brioche with underlying notes of hazelnut and vanilla. Try with mature cheeses for a snack or Tomato Sauce Pasta for something more filling.
The typical Argentinian Malbec and Terrazas’ flagship wine, the Altos del Plata Malbec leads off with floral and fruity notes of violets, black cherry, and plum aromas complemented by toasty and spicy characters of black pepper and chocolate on the palate. Their trademark red is great with grilled meats, as well as Parma Ham or Grilled Provoleta or Provolone Cheese.
An intense garnet red with purple shades, Altos del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon is complex yet balanced providing deep spicy & smoky notes combined with aromas of cassis, blueberries, and pepper spice. Its earthiness will work well with lightly-sauced lamb dishes.
The Reserva range is the signature of Terrazas offering an elevated drinking experience that is consistent, layered, and generous. These wines have been aged in stainless steel and oak barrels imparting an added depth and depending on the wine, will have an aging potential of up to 10 years. Within this Reserva range you’ll find a Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Torrontés.
A creamy white with just the right amount of acidity, the Terrazas Reserva Chardonnay has subtle hints of white roses, lemon zest, pear, white peach, dried apricot, and butterscotch. This then translates onto the palate with complex notes of pineapple, hazelnut, and vanilla. This is a fantastic wine to pair with Grilled Tuna or Pork Sausages.
The Terrazas Reserva Malbec possesses a delicate balance of black fruits and fine tannins. It is a bright red color and offers a great-value option especially if you’re looking for a red wine with intense floral and fruity notes combined with aromas of violets, ripe black cherry, and plum. We think of this as an expressive wine that is perfect for all occasions and pairs beautifully with beef dishes.
An aromatic red wine, the Terrazas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is noted for its vanilla and cacao flavors. On the nose this will be spicy and smoky with aromas of cassis, blueberries, and pepper. On the palate this Cabernet Sauvignon is integrated and complex with pleasant tannins and a persistent finish. If you want to pair this wine with food, we recommend trying it with Roast Duck or Grilled Vegetables.
The signature of Argentina, the Torrontés grape is known for being a tropical fruity white wine and the Terrazas Reserva expression is no exception. Pale yellow with greenish highlights, this white wine is fresh and fruity in character with notes of melon, tangerine, and lychee married with white rose notes and herbal aromas. Enjoy this wine paired with Asian cuisine like sweet and sour dishes.
So whether you're looking for an everyday red wine or a unique tropical white wine, Terrazas has something for you. Order your bottles today and experience what these high altitude new world wines have to offer.