Argentina - Grape Varieties and Winemaking - Key black varieties

4 important questions on Argentina - Grape Varieties and Winemaking - Key black varieties

Which DOC is only for Malbec used, in Argentina?

  • DOC Luján de Cujo and DOC San Rafael
  • Dominant grape in Mendoza, Salta and Patagonia

What is Argentina's 2nd most planted black variety? Where is it found and what is the style of wine produced?

  • Bonarda Argentina
  • Late ripening
  • Mainly planted in San Juan and warmer parts of Mendoza
  • High yields, inexpensive wines for domestic market (85%)
  • Blended also with Malbec and CS
  • Style: deep coloured, red and black fruit, medium acidity/alcohol/tannins
  • Lower yields and old vines give complex wines with ripe black fruit and spice
  • Oak can overwhelm -> use of large vessels.
  • Found in: Maipú, Lujan de Cujo, East Mendoza

What is specific of Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon?

  • Good blending partner with Malbec
  • Argentinian CS: Cabernet Sauvignon is more susceptible to extremes of temperature and fungal disease than Malbec and so careful site selection is important.
  • Argentinian examples tend to show ripe high tannins, blackcurrant and blackberry fruit and spicy notes without a marked herbaceous character.
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What other black varieties beside Malbec, Bonarda and CS can be found in Argentina? Where?

  • Syrah: hotter sites, Mendoza and San Juan; ripe black fruit, high alcohol
  • Tempranillo
  • Merlot; in bordeaux blends
  • Pinot Noir; Patagonia and Uco Valley
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Petit Verdot
  • Tannat

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