Malbec, a big hit in the United States

“Are we sick of Malbec yet? This juicy red wine from Argentina has swept the United States. Hasn’t it become cliched, jumped the shark, worn out its welcome, gotten just so . . . 2011? No. Every time I dive into Argentina’s Malbecs, I don’t want to come up for air,” highlighted Dave McIntyre, of Washington Post, in his article about the excellent value of Argentine Malbecs.

As he explained, his perception of Argentina’s wines has changed after numerous tastings. “With Malbec’s market success in the United States, my inner cynic would suspect that we’ve been flooded with mediocre Malbec, but even the less-interesting ones I’ve found are better than average. At USD 10, 30 or even 100, Malbecs from Argentina offer extraordinary value. I can’t say there aren’t bad examples out there, but in my recent tastings I haven’t found any, while many I tasted were terrific. Argentina’s Malbecs may very well be the best value in red wine available today.”

“What makes them so good?” he wondered. According to him, the Andes Mountains are the main factor. “Argentina’s wine regions are in the foothills of this majestic mountain range, irrigated by snow runoff and protected from Pacific Ocean rains. Whether in Mendoza, the country’s most important wine region, further north in Salta or Patagonia to the south, the Andes lend their influence to the wine. That influence is primarily altitude. Argentina’s modern wine renaissance, which is only a couple of decades old, has led vintners to search for new, better vineyard sites. Like Icarus soaring closer to the sun, they have climbed higher into the Andes foothills and planted some of the highest-altitude vineyards in the world.”

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