By James Atkinson

The Sydney wine trade had the opportunity to taste a widely contrasting line-up of Argentine Malbecs in a recent masterclass to celebrate the fourth annual Malbec World Day.

Curated and hosted by Huon Hooke and with Argentina’s top diplomats in attendance, the masterclass covered 13 Malbecs; two from Patagonia (Argentina’s southernmost wine region), two from Salta (a high altitude region in the north) and nine from Mendoza (the country’s main winemaking province). [continues below]

L-R: Acting Consul General of Argentina Pablo Hartstein, Huon Hooke, Ambassador of Argentina Pedro Villagra Delgado

Hooke likened Argentine Malbec’s newfound status as a global superstar of the wine world to that of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or Napa Valley Cabernet out of the US. 

 “It’s quite extraordinary that it has achieved its notoriety, fame and success so quickly,” he said.

The Malbecs on taste had vastly ranging LUCs but largely presented good value for their price points, be they lighter, earlier drinking styles (Mi Terruno Uvas Malbec 2012 – LUC $12.39) or blockbusters with ageing potential of 20 years or more (Rutini Wines Apartado Gran Malbec 2008 – LUC $110.51). [continues below]

Hooke said Argentine Malbec is often unfairly criticised as “samey” but there was nothing homogenous about these 13 wines, except that they were consistently of a high standard.

Other standout Malbecs:

  • Dona Paula Seleccion de Bodega Malbec 2010 – LUC $30
  • Rutini Wines Malbec 2011 (pictured) – LUC $24.62
  • Trapiche Gran Reserva Finca Las Palmas Malbec 2010 – LUC $23.65
  • Trapiche Single Vineyard J Moralles Malbec 2009 – LUC $75

Malbec World Day takes place tomorrow, April 17.

The Shout Team

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