wine and dine

New Sforno wines from a fine Argentine winery


As some of you may have intuitively observed based on my previous write-ups, I am a huge Israeli wine fan. At this point in my wine tasting journey, I felt it was time to try also wines from different parts of the world.

My local wine shop recommended I take a trip to Argentina this week. I am slightly familiar with Argentinian wines, including the Malbec from the famous Rothschild-owned winery Flechas de Los Andes.

It piqued my interest when I saw 6 new wines from Sforno Winery, among them a Sauvignon Blanc, which lately has been my new favorite variety to sample. I decided to look up the producer and educate myself.

Jay Buchsbaum of Kedem, the distributor, told me that these wines are a steal, as they are made by a great Argentinian winery whose non-kosher wines are very much sought-after and yet similarly priced.

The new wines are made indeed in a very famous winery called the Bodega Riglos, established in 2011 by two friends, Darío Werthein (president) and Fabián Suffern (vice-president). Riglos is located in a high altitude area at the edge of the Andes mountains in the Uco Valley of Mendoza.

My research revealed that vineyards were planted in this area by many European winemakers since the 1800s. By the way, it is around the same time that California became a prime spot for vine planting. The region experienced a winemaking boom close to the end of the century when a railroad connected the area to large capital cities like Buenos Aires.

The Riglos winery produces around 8,500 cases of wine a year. It has been exporting almost 80% of those wines out of Argentina. This tells me that this winery clearly knows what it is doing. It is a great joy for me that they are also making several kosher and mevushal wines under the name Sforno winery.

The current offerings are the Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Reserva (blend of Malbec Syrah), and a premium blend called Gran Reserva, all from the 2020 vintage (as a southern hemisphere winery the harvest there took place in February/March of last year).

My husband and I decided we would try the Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, and the Gran Reserva, the latter of which is not mevushal. The wines were lovely. The Sauvignon Blanc had a unique taste compared to others I have sampled. The acidity was toned down, which I appreciated. Sometimes, the acidity in Sauvignon Blanc wines can overwhelm my palate a bit.

The Malbec and Gran Reserva were just lovely paired with tacos on a Tuesday night and with a nice lean steak and fries the following night. I am still holding onto the other bottles we bought, but so far I am really enjoying the taste of Argentina. Next time you are at the wine shop take a trip down south with me and try them out! Cheers!

Sharon and Sholom Dovid Spielman are wine enthusiasts who are passionate about their hobby, especially Israeli wine.