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Casarena champions Cabernet Sauvignon at launch of premium Argentine DNA wines into UK

Published:  24 August, 2016

Bodegas Casarena introduced its DNA Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon and blended Icono wine at the UNA Argentina pop up restaurant in St Pancras Clock Tower on 23 August, marking a firm commitment to growing premium Argentine wines in the UK.

The wines represent the culmination of many years work across single vineyard sites in Agrelo and Perdriel in Luyan de Cuyo, where Casarena has focused on vinification from single plots to best identify individual site characteristics, drawing on a mix of very old vines and grafted vines using cuttings made by Massal selection.

Despite the small production of these wines, with tiny allocations of only 300 bottles of each available in the UK, Casarena's sales director Martin Perez Cambet highlighted the importance of raising Argentina's quality profile in the UK.

"What is important is to be in top UK restaurants, such as the Gaucho, rather than show our high points for the wines, because that is real life and in places like Hong Kong and Japan all you have to do is show a wine list [from a top London restaurant] - that is how important the UK market is," said Perez Cambet.

Despite the presentation of both a single varietal Malbec and a Cabernet Sauvignon DNA, he went on to champion Cabernet Sauvginon as "The King in Argentina", suggesting that: "While Malbec will always have a key role to play, the future for top Argentina wines lies in Cabernet Sauvignon and blends."

He added that Argentina needs to increase the diversity that it shows to the world, with new varieties and style

To this end, Casarena has been experimenting with plantings as diverse as Mourvedre, Viognier and Marsanne in the chalk-based vineyards that it has been developing in nearby Naoki, where in turn the company is pushing for recognition of these untypical soils as a separate region to Agrelo.

Cabernet Franc is another variety championed: "There are only 500ha of Cabernet Franc planed in Argentina, so you will only see good quality and amazing wines, because it is only worth making the highest quality with these quantities."

The DNA and Icono wines, along with the rest of Casarena's portfolio, are available exclusively though Robinsons wines in the UK.