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The flagship red grape of Argentina is Malbec, the same variety that's used to make the blockbuster reds of Cahors in France and season Bordeaux blends for spice and clout. Argentina's Malbec wines are riper and softer than their French counterparts.
The Mendoza region of Argentina is known for its ability to create splendid Malbec wine. Look for Malbec and Mendoza together on the label. Argentinean Wine
Although Argentina grows and sells the usual varieties, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc, the native Torrontés is worth trying. It is the country's most important quality white grape variety and makes a fleshy, floral wine with hints of peach.
Like many other New World countries, you can count on grape varieties to appear on labels of wine from Argentina.
Argentina makes wines similar to those of Australia at the lower price points. Both countries produce fruit-forward, full-bodied, approachable wines meant to be drank young.
The country has not yet fully recovered from the major economic crash of 2001–2002 so Argentina is desperate to export its wines. This fact, combined with the low relative value of the country's currency, means Argentinean wines can offer very convincing value for the money.
Cooler patches in the Andes Mountains produce the most elegant and refined wines with considerable complexity. One such wine, which is a Bordeaux look-alike, is Cheval des Andes. This wine is the product of a joint venture between Terrazas de los Andes in Argentina and Château Cheval-Blanc in Bordeaux, France. Cheval des Andes blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, to create deeply expressive flavors of macerated berries, cigar box aromas, and dark bitter chocolate. The first vintage available in North America was 2001.
A new wine from Argentina that's worth looking for is A Crux by O. Fournier. It's an unfiltered red and its first vintage, 2001, is mainly Tempranillo. It is a rich, earthy wine with tobacco and black stone fruit flavors. The 2002, which is mainly Malbec, shows spiced dark berries, dried herbs, and black truffle, but will become increasingly complex with age.
Top Argentinean producers today include Alta Vista, Altos Los Hormigas, Ben Marco, Bodegas Salentein, Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete, Norton, and Finca la Celia.
Mendoza has enjoyed a streak of good vintages from 2002 through 2005.
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