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High altitude Malbec from Argentina: Panel tasting results

Some of Argentina's best Malbecs are now coming from high altitude vineyards. The wines below achieved high scores in Decanter's October 2016 issue Uco Valley Panel Tasting...

Scroll down for the judge’s top high altitude Malbecs

Malbec fruit grown in Argentina at between 1,100 and 1,700 metres has a taste profile that is very different to what is achieved in lower-lying areas. Cooler nights improve acidity levels, while the flavours and textures become more vivid and refined.

Decanter Man of the Year 2009 Nicolas Catena was one of the first to plant in the heights of Gualtallary, about 1,500 metres above sea level back in 1996. “We planted at higher altitudes because we wanted an elegance that wasn’t easy to achieve on the valley floor”.

All three judges agreed that the wines tasted showed a high level of quality, consistency and stylistic diversity. The Uco Valley is arguably producing Argentina’s finest Malbecs, and its sub-zones are starting to be defined and understood more clearly by producers and consumers.

“Defined sub-regional styles are still a work in progress in the Uco Valley but the momentum is there, along with Malbecs whose fresh fruit is not dulled by excess oak”

– Patricio Tapia

Top high altitude Malbec from the panel tasting:


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