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04 March 2024

Argentina: Malbec, Syrah and Pinot Noir.

Following my post on Cabernets from Argentina, this second instalment of a short duet about Argentinian reds moves on to Malbec, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Malbec is a familiar proposition nowadays: the variety came from southwest France to Argentina in the 1850s and now represents 40% of red grapes (winesofargentina). Syrah has a shorter history but has gained ground over the last decade, producing sometimes superb varietals and as a component of full spicy red blends.

Luigi Bosca De Sangre Malbec 2021, Luján de Cuyo Mendoza (abv): Intense concentrated red with aromatic yet meaty profile, very tasty red, superb. €22 Ireland (importer Barry & Fitzwilliam, Cork).
Masi Tupungato Paso Doble 2021, Tupungato Valley Mendoza (14% abv): Malbec and Corvina. Tasty aromatic and tangy fruit with lingering floral while liquorice-y notes. Nice now. €18-€25 Ireland (Findlater & Co.).
Susana Balbo
Signature Rosé 2022: 60% Malbec and 40% Pinot Noir. Attractively crisp and fresh vs ripe red fruits and slightly 'spritzy' yeast-lees intensity, very nice rosado.
Late Harvest Malbec 2021: Late picked and dried on the vine, resulting in 80 grams per litre residual sugar. Absolutely delicious fruit, not so sweet in the end thanks to its fresh lively finish. Different. Irish importer for Susana Balbo = Wines Direct.

Trivento Private Reserve Malbec 2021: This well-known brand is made in Mendoza by Chilean giant Concha y Toro, and it's actually very nice (this one being the middle of a three-tier Malbec range). Not obviously oaky with aromatic cranberry and raspberry fruit, fresh and well-textured palate. Good. €13-€18 Ireland.
Felipe Staiti Euforia Syrah 2020: Produced at Bodegas Monteviejo in Uco Valley, Mendoza, Staiti has made his mark with Malbec and Syrah. This powerful meaty red is 100% the latter, offering dark cherry aromas, firm but nicely rounded tannins and lingering tangy spicy black fruits. Very good.
All three about €25 in Ireland (importer = Criado Wines).
Vertigo Blend 2019: 70% Malbec, 20% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Franc. Touches of coconut and cedar oak it's intense and concentrated with red and black fruit mix, punchy (15% abv) finish with attractive solid tannins.
Honor Blend 2019: 65% Malbec, 25% Cab Franc, 10% Cab Sauvignon. Toasty oak but it's loaded with lovely dark fruits, textured and spicy mouthfeel and very concentrated. Wow.

Rutini Trumpeter Malbec Syrah 2021: This 60-40 blend had aromatic and peppery blackcurrant fruit with tasty soft palate, drinking nicely now. €18-€25 Ireland (Criado).
Dona Paula Estate
Black Edition 2020 (14% abv): 60% Malbec, 35% Cabernets, 5% Petit Verdot from Luján de Cuyo; 9 months in barrel. Cassis and cranberry notes with a meatier more structured side, concentrated mouthfeel, drinking now but will keep longer. €13-€18 Ireland (Bibendum).
Blue Edition Red Velvet Blend 2021: Malbec and Pinot Noir. Tasty wine with aromatic sweet/savoury notes vs fresher crunchier fruit, drinking very nicely. €13-€18.

Bodegas Bianchi
Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2020: Their vineyards and winery are located in San Rafael, Mendoza. Enticing floral red fruit nose moving on to a meatier firmer palate, well-textured tannins. €20+
Famiglia Gran Uco Valley Malbec 2020: Concentrated and meaty with sweet cranberry fruit tones, again structured mouthfeel but with fine tannins. €35
Bianchi Particular Grand Reserve 2020: Malbec with 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. Still quite tight and firm on the palate with similar attractive meatiness, concentrated and good quality, although more austere at the moment showing its ageing potential I reckon. €40
Irish importer = Dalcassian Wines, Dublin.

Andeluna Cellars Pasionado Cuatro Cepas 2018: 35% Malbec, 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernets. Delicious red blend offering a mix of aromatic yet savoury fruit, punchy and firm mouthfeel but it's ripe and meaty too with tasty dried fruit finish. Good stuff. €32 Ireland (Wines on the Green, Dublin).

Pinot Noir
Looking at the Balbo rosé and Dona Paula Red Velvet above, Pinot is also obviously a success for both styles when blended with Malbec. These two are 100% Pinot:
Rutini Coleccion Pinot Noir 2020: Uco Valley. Maturing and savoury with elegant tasty palate, concentrated too, lovely Pinot. €25+ Ireland (Criado).
Salentein Pinot Noir 2018: Uco Valley. Mature sweet/savoury Pinot styling, delicate and tasty, drinking now. Good. €22 Ireland (Mackenway).

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.