Achaval Ferrer Bodega Aleanna Bodega Alta Vista Bodega Catena Zapata Bodega Luigi Bosca Familia Zuccardi Michel Rolland Rutini Wines Trapiche Vina Cobos
Who knows how cult fine wines are born? Some come to fame via generations of winemaking history, some employ star winemakers to boost their brand. And some, such as Achaval Ferrer have fabulously gorgeous Argentinian wines that stand alone, regardless.
European technique with South American passion
Founded in 1998 by three high achievers, Santiago Achaval, Manuel Ferrer and winemaker Roberto Cipresso, Achaval Ferrer is a bit of a success story. After becoming interested in wine during his studies at Stanford, Santiago soon decided that accountancy was not where his heart lay. Argentinian fine wines were beginning to emerge, so along with his friend (an lawyer who had fallen out of love with the law), they began to look for opportunities in their native Argentina. The friends joined forces with Italian winemaker Roberto Cipresso, sought the advice of French oenologist Michel Rolland and Argentina’s viticultural legacy was secured.
Achaval Ferrer’s vineyards are three, densely planted parcels of Malbec at dizzying altitudes: Finca Altamira is at 1,050 metres, Finca Mirador at 700 metres and Finca Bella Vista 980 metres. These variations in elevation, terroir, climate and irrigation are unique to each parcel and can create extraordinary variety even within the same field. Despite being a new kid on the block, Achaval Ferrer’s success was immediate, scoring 91 in blind tastings. This caught the eye of two very influential people: the first was Robert Parker, whose support and high ratings (the highest for any Argentinan fine wine) basically paved the way for export to the US of the Achaval Ferrer. Galvanised by this success stateside, the estate was purchased in 2011 by the SPI Group – a global leader in wine and spirits that include Stolichnaya (Stoli) vodka under its umbrella.
3 wines on Argentina’s top 10
Three of Achaval Ferrer’s wines hold seventh and join eighth place on wine-searcher.com’s list of most expensive Argentinian wines (Finca Altamira, Finca Mirador and Finca Bella Vista at €100 and €90 respectively). Despite being the highest rated wine in Argentina, as well as one of the most sought after, Achaval Ferrer is losing interest in a fickle market. Quality however has not suffered (au contraire), so savvy investors might be wise to snap up some choice vintages and play a waiting game.