Argentina Malbec over £10
Bodegas Dos Andes, Chaltén Malbec Colección, Neuquén, Patagonia 2009
Over a decade ago Argentineans would have laughed if anyone would have told them that a Malbec from San Patricio del Chañar was going to win the Regional Trophy Malbec over £10, but not of disbelief.
This region did not exist, it was only known by its fruit trees and the local excavations of some of the world's most ancient dinosaur fossils. In 2008 Bodegas Dos Andes, owned by Chilean Córpora Group, bought in Añelo, one of today’s six wineries in Neuquén. The winemaker in charge is not Argentinean, nor French, nor Italian but Chilean. “Our wines have a well defined body, high concentration and a marked aromatic richness, which express our distinctive terroir,” explains Pablo Herrera.
Dos Andes sees in Neuquén the potential of a place still to be discovered. They take fully advantage of the cooler climate by focusing on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Malbec. According to Herrera the temperature variations between day and night of sometimes as much as 17 degrees favour the production of highly concentrated grapes with a developed bouquet. He also stresses the importance of the nearly constant Patagonian winds that aid in the growth of healthy and balanced vines without the use of agrochemicals.
This wine won in one of the most contended trophy categories, amongst very well known and established producers. What an achievement for both this young winery and a region that has gone from a desert to a vineyard oasis in just over a decade.