Don't cry for wines from Argentina

Source: Vancouver Courier
By: Tim Pawsey
06.27.2008

Like Chilean Merlots of the 1990s, Argentina’s Malbecs have become a potent symbol of affordability. Many have dubbed them the new Shiraz.

If you like your reds plush and plummy, chances are you'll soon be picking up a bottle of Malbec--if you haven't already done so. Like Chile over a decade ago, Argentina is on fire. And Malbec is at the core of the country's rise in wine fortunes, with many suggesting it's the new Shiraz. That may be true--to a point--but we're not convinced. Traditionally used in Bordeaux blends, Malbec, often characterized as being somewhere between Cabernet and Merlot, is quite a different grape from its far more robust Rhone cousin.

Much like those Chilean Merlots of the '90s (a lot of which were actually Carmenere), Argentina's Malbecs have become a potent symbol of affordability. Their fruitiness, easy tannins and mouth filling approachability have become a surefire hit with consumers, although much like Carmenere, Malbec needs to ripen well, and often quite late to achieve its plush personality.

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