Argentina has changed with fantastic Malbecs across all price ranges, from price fighters to fine examples where we are starting to potential of these wines. See five of the top Malbecs our tasting teams have picked out in recent times.
Picture the cliché of an Argentinia Malbec. Full of black and red plum fruit, usually with a cooked or syrupy edge. Alcohol starting at 14% and edging up to 16% (I’ve tasted 16.5% – you cannot finish the glass, let alone the bottle). These wines were part of a commercial boom.
The change occuring is apparent in Mendoza, the vineyard in the desert. Producers are investing in the Uco Valley to the west, beyond Luján de Cuyo, chasing higher altitudes, wider diurnal temperature ranges and different soils (above all, limestone). Gualtallary, Altamira and La Consulta are the among the small sub-zones that will be internationally famous. Careful work on row orientation and viticulture is bringing in fresher fruit. In the winery, there’s a welcome movement to reduce oak and replace new barrels with old oak and large foudres. Significantly, the new generation is investing in concrete. The symbol must be the new Zuccardi winery, rising from the rocky landscape, which Sebastian Zuccardi has filled with concrete eggs and amphorae.