I have often dreamed of visiting Patagonia after reading Bruce Chatwin’s excellent travelogue ‘In Patagonia’ So if I see a Patagonian wine for sale I buy it and let the taste flavour my imagination for that faraway distant land where Welsh families still live in splendid isolation.
Patagonia is fast becoming a leading region in quality wines and this Sauvignon Blanc is typical of the wines coming from this far South region. The climate suits cool whites having hot days and cold nights, although the reds are also very interesting. Pinot Noir is the usual white varietal, I went for a Sauvignon Blanc from North Coast Wines to go with Fridays fish & chip supper. However the price on offer meant I took another bottle and we shared it with friends for Sunday’s roast chicken. I imagined many Welsh descendants having a similar meal in that far distant ‘Land of Giants’.
At 39 degrees south Neuquen in northern Patagonia is a wind swept and dry plain backed by striking mountains. It is nearly a desert but the Argentine government is fast realising the potential of the terroir for quality wines and the landscape is greening.
The Saurus sauvignon blanc has plenty of citrus notes, almost grapefruit flavours and a straw colour that invites a good mouthful. The Familia Shroeder discovered a dinosaur fossil of a huge beast that roamed the land when they excavated for the cellar of their wines and Saurus is an apt name for this big white. A sunday roast chicken with plenty of thyme and garlic complemented the well balanced acidity cutting through the fats and gravy of the moist chicken.
North Coast wines in Bude have a great selection of interesting wines. It is great to have a nearby shop that prides itself on diversity and affordability. This wine was a bin end at a very affordable £5. I expect they will sell out soon so it’s worth grabbing a bottle or two if you are passing. I’m sure I will be returning for another adventure soon.
“I pictured a low timber house with a shingled roof, caulked against storms, with blazing log fires inside and the walls lined with all the best books, somewhere to live when the rest of the world blew up.” Bruce Chatwin – In Patagonia
“I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones.” Bruce Chatwin – In Patagonia