ARGENTINE MALBEC - The Signature Grape of Argentina

Malbec is a black, mellow grape variety originally grown in France as one of the traditional “Bordeaux varietals.” Malbec has characteristics that fall somewhere between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Malbec became less popular in Bordeaux after 1956 when frost killed off 75% of the crop.

It found its true home in the front range of the Andes Mountains above Mendoza, where the grape has ascended from pretty good to truly great, making Malbec Argentina's best wine. In Argentina it is widely grown and producesdeep colored wines with generous black fruit characteristics, balanced acidity and smooth tannins. It is either bottled on its own or as part of a Bordeaux blend.

Perhaps best of all, the Malbec grapes grown around Mendoza are so clean, with flavors so pure, that even inexpensive renditions are delightful - provided that vintners don't overwhelm them with oak. The wines are big, rich and deeply flavored, yet rounded and luxurious in texture. Their softness permits early enjoyment, but they also age well. Similarly, the wines are sufficiently rich to stand up to red meat dishes, but soft enough to work with pork, veal or grilled fish steaks.

BONARDA - Argentina’s Second-in-Command Red Grape

On a list of the ten most prominent red-wine grapes, one is not likely to encounter Bonarda (Boe-nahr-dah). But seekers of interesting new wines are starting to take notice of this grape, pronounced. This grape has roots in Italy but has found another home in the world in which to prosper: Argentina.

It is a grape worth getting to know, with prized value for its dark purple-black midnight color, heavy nose, and intense flavor. Bonarda tends to make lighter, fruitier wines than the other red varietals, and is often used as a blending grape to lend this bright fruitiness to a wine. Its big fruit flavor reminds one of an intense merlot wine. Full and fruity, it makes an easy quaff and a good food match. Try this wine with red meats - grilled or roasted, pasta with red sauces, lamb, or risotto with mushrooms. Chilled for a short while inthe refrigerator, this is the perfect summer barbeque wine, but it also has enough body to drink by the winter fireplace. Bonarda will age and is better when decanted.

TORRONTÉS - The Emblematic White Grape of Argentina

Introducing the next great white star from Argentina: Torrontés (tore-ahn-TEZ). One sip of Torrontés, made from Argentina's most widely planted white grape of the same name, will keep you in the summer spirit; it is the perfect summertime wine.

This terrific Argentine wine is straw in color and packs an incredibly perfumed punch that you must experience to believe. It is a light, easy-drinking wine with floral aromatics reminiscent of Gewürztraminer and the exotic fruit character of Viognier, with a refreshing and crispy finish. Torrontés stands out for its surprising combination of voluptuous notes with a pleasant freshness, bright acidity, and a lengthy finish. Its luscious fruit makes it taste almost sweet, but its dry finish belies this illusion.

Forget all about your Chardonnay or other run-of-the-mill white wines, this is a completely new taste experience. It has gained a cult-like following among savvy wine drinkers and will only grow in popularity once more daring imbibers taste it. If you’re looking for an elegant alternative to pair with fish, seafood, and spicy, aromatic Latin and Asian foods….Torrontés is the answer.

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