Patagonia is an exciting work in progress competing with Mendoza to produce the best Argentinian Malbecs. Patricio Tapia highlights the top five Patagonian Malbecs from this lesser-known yet promising region...
Scroll down to see five great Malbec wines from Patagonia
The two most important wine provinces in Patagonia are Río Negro and Neuquén. The first has a great wine tradition, dating back more than a century, while the second, with most of its vineyards planted in the late 1990s, is one of the youngest in Argentina.
Around the Colorado and Río Negro rivers, and at heights that do not exceed 500m (in Mendoza, they can reach 1,600m), vineyards in Patagonia flourish under the warm sun, but the grapes are cooled almost year-round by the intense winds that descend from the Andes. Despite Patagonia’s latitude at 45° south, it is not necessarily a cold region. The heat is often intense, as demonstrated by the alcohol levels in the wines.
Malbec is the main variety (40% of reds), and the one which produces the best results. The depth and complexity of the Malbecs from old vines in Río Negro is a flagship style for Patagonia, best demonstrated by Noemía whose reds are the stars of that sub-region. The younger vines of Neuquén and La Pampa (especially in cooler vintages like 2014) are made in a simple, approachable style with a strong focus on the fruit.
Editing for Decanter.com by Laura Seal