Argentinian Malbec and lovers of wine have long been cosy bedfellows. Certainly the days of framing the relationship as a love affair are in the distant past; it’s more akin to a rock-solid marriage which shows little sign of losing its lustre.
Trivento is arguably the chief architect of Malbec’s perpetually flourishing success. Not only is Trivento now one of the UK’s Top 20 wine brands, but its Reserve Malbec sits right at the top of its respective tree, being the country’s top selling Malbec with over half a million cases sold in the last year.
If ever an object lesson in not rocking the boat was required, then such a rosy outlook would seem ideal, wouldn’t it? Trivento’s Chief Winemaker, Germán Di Cesare, wouldn’t wholly disagree, but clearly has designs on upgrading the ship.
‘For over 20 years Malbec has been the fundamental piece of Argentina’s success and I believe it will be for many years more,’ he states. ‘In Argentina, and especially in Mendoza, Malbec has found a climate and soil that delivers its best expression. We are not changing that; we are expanding the concept of Malbec in order to deliver new expressions of it.’
This entails adjusting the angle just so, adopting a slightly different viewpoint and focusing not only on terroir, but also other varieties and even vintages.
‘Because of our continental climate and the possibility to irrigate in hot and dry years, vintages in Argentina are generally consistent and regular,’ concedes Di Cesare. ‘However, we have been through challenging vintages such as 2016 where we had to choose between maintaining consistency and discovering new expressions. I bet for both.’ Conversely, Di Cesare considers 2017 to be an outstanding year, one which delivered fantastically healthy, concentrated and balanced grapes, particularly in red varieties such as Malbec, Cabernet, Syrah and Bonarda.
‘With varieties and terroirs, blending is a key way of diversifying tastes and textures,’ Di Cesare outlines. ‘Malbec will lead this new wave and frequently be the main component, but other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc or Bonarda are joining this journey of deep understanding and respect for the differences in terroir.’
’When we blend terroirs or even microterroirs, the universe of sensations opens to a new dimension. As an example, our Golden Reserve Malbec is a blend of microterroirs from Luján de Cuyo, Perdriel, Vistalba, Agrelo and Las Compuertas, resulting in a wine where the aromatic profile is amplified, the texture is softer and fuller with elegant tannins.’
‘Malbec will always be seductive and gentle,’ he concludes. ‘Our challenge at Trivento is to now create bold, challenging and authentic Malbecs. We, as winemakers, are going through a new passage where terroir and vintage rule.’