While the wine scene in South America continues to thrive, Argentina is undoubtedly one of the highlights for this particular industry. That is to say, Chile and Peru are home to some of the most sublime creations in modern times but the Malbec wine in Argentina has a loyal following and flair which is often head and shoulders above the rest.
Recently, Argentina has undergone a rising interest in Bonarda and Torrontés, two of the latest grapes to capture the imagination of wine connoisseurs. Produced on some particularly bleak landscapes in the highlands, these sweet grapes are especially fruity and form the base of various white wines. However, if you wish to try the pride of wine production in South America, Argentina is where you will find some of the oldest and most impressive vineyards in the world which tend to be Malbec.
The Rise of Malbec - the Most Popular Grape in Argentina
In case you might be asking yourself, Malbec first arrived in Argentina during the 1800’s and popularity for the grape grew at an exponential rate due to how this variety was able to adapt to the environment. In many ways, the dark and durable nature of Malbec meant it was resistant to bacteria and particularly sweet.
At the same time, many locals and visitors were entirely unaware of the process but rather fixated on the unique taste of wine produced from this grape. In fact, such was the popularity of the grape, Malbec spread quickly from Mendoza to Salta and all the way down to Patagonia. Consequently, Malbec is now one of the most widely planted grapes in Argentina.
A Few Argentine Malbec Wines You’ll Want to Try
Although Mendoza is the main producer of Malbec in Argentina, several regions including San Juan, Salta and La Rioja are also gaining popularity. Interestingly enough, the taste of these wines is also largely dependent on each environment with some varieties originating in the Andes mountains. Furthermore, the favorable climate ensures that each one is especially distinct and full in flavor.
Here are four of the impressive wines we sampled throughout Buenos Aires.
96 Bodega Catena Zapata 2005 Argentino
Mendoza is considered the origin of Malbec in Argentina, so it makes sense to include one of the most impressive wines from this region. At the same time, this is also considered a top-end wine and one of the more exclusive samples from the region. Featuring a raisin like taste, with blackberry, licorice and mineral. Finally, the end is typically like coffee and has a certain mocha and black fruit to finish the taste.
Heralded by locals as one of the best Malbecs in Argentina, this wine mixes grapes from two vineyards to create a smooth, fruity flavour with a hint of pepper. Pair this with local parilla (grilled meat) and you’re in for an unforgettable experience.
Domaine Bousquet Malbec
As you may know, Malbec is a full bodied red wine with a potent taste and Domaine Bousquet Malbec certainly holds true to that tradition. Produced in the foothills of Tupungato, there is a very subtle essence of vanilla, blackberry and spice in this particular creation which is often referred to as a “fruit-forward wine”. In fact, the rich flavor is the result of a six-month oak-aging which also manages to retain a certain fruitiness in spite of the process.
2014 Bodega Septima Septima Obra Malbec
Another of the more affordable Malbec wines in Argentina is the Bodeega Septima Obra which has a distinct sense of cherry-strawberry. In fact, the flavor is similar to bubblegum and also consists of a slightly acidic and vibrant zest. A hint of banana brings a new perspective to this smooth Malbec, which is certainly one of the best values you are likely to sample.
Malbec is the flagship wine in Argentina and one which has spread far and wide around the world. Moreover, while new varieties are now commonplace in South America, it must be acknowledged there is obviously a very good reason why this particular grape has managed to last from the Middle Ages right the way through to the present day.
Have a favorite Malbec from Argentina? Let us know in the comments below.