At Paul Marcus Wines, we have always been keenly focused on Old World wines–for almost 40 years, the shop has offered one of the most complete and compelling selections of European wines in the Bay Area. However, we also pride ourselves on our diversity and our adventurousness, augmenting our European selection with a wide range of tempting New World offerings. In recent weeks, we’ve added a number of wines from South America in a variety of styles. Following is a quick survey of the latest additions to our South American lineup.
2018 Progreso Old Vine Tannat (Uruguay, $31)
Brought to Uruguay about 150 years ago, tannat has emerged as the country’s go-to grape. This version is dense, dark, serious, and balanced. Aged for 12-18 months in a mix of new and used Burgundy barrels, this bottle is ready for red meat.
2020 Zuccardi Malbec – Concreto (Argentina, $37)
Fresh, lively, and herbaceous, but with a deep core of purple fruit, the Concreto boasts a combination of power and finesse. The grapes come from the calcareous soils of the Paraje Altamira section of Mendoza, and the juice is fermented and aged in concrete. This impressive bottle should age gracefully for another 3-5 years or more.
2020 Poligonos (Zuccardi) – Cabernet Franc San Pablo (Argentina, $31)
This falls somewhere between the vegetal, leafy Loire style and fruit-forward California style of cabernet franc. Winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi uses fruit grown in the high-elevation sub-region of San Pablo in the Uco Valley, and the final product benefits from judicious use of large, old foudres.
2022 La Jirafa y El Enano Naranjo (Argentina, $19)
Made with 100 percent torrontés from Mendoza, this beauty undergoes a 30-day maceration and offers notes of orange peel and almonds–a terrific introduction to orange wine at less than $20.
2022 Luyt Tinto Chicha 1L (Chile, $27)
Louis-Antoine Luyt, a native of Burgundy, has been instrumental in jump-starting Chile’s natural-wine movement. This enticing, gently pressed red is made with 100 percent país from Maule and is fermented in stainless-steel tanks, making for easy-drinking pleasure.
2022 Luyt Portezuelo – Pipeño Blanco 1L (Chile, $24)
This skin-contact, low-sulfur white blend (10-12-day maceration) from Itata is floral, aromatic, and intense–not your typical orange wine in color or texture, although it does offer some earthy, savory characteristics.
2021 Longavi ‘Glup’ Cinsault (Chile, $19)
From a single parcel in the Itata Valley, this is a light, bright, low-intervention red (12.5 percent alcohol) made with 30 percent whole clusters and aged for six months in large, old foudres.