Friday evening is synonymous with wine tastings at the Entaste office, and last week it was the time of the Malbec, the most popular and well-known red grape variety of Argentina. The main objective was to compare how the same grape variety acts in different terroirs, and out of these I´ve selected two wines to discuss.
Both wines are made from 100% Malbec, both are of 2010 vintage and both went through similar oak ageing processes. Moreover, both wineries have the same consultant winemaker, the renowned Paul Hobbs! So, really, what is the difference between these two wines? The answer: the place where the grapes are harvested, one of the main factors involved in the idea of Terroir.
Felino Malbec 2010, Viña Cobos, Mendoza
In the Felino we found the typical characteristics of Mendoza´s Malbecs: red and black ripe fruits, cherries, plums, quincies and also some floral notes, mainly violets. In the mouth it has a soft entrance, with light tannins and a round, velvety mouth. A good option if you like lighter, fruitier Malbecs.
Amauta Malbec 2010, El Porvenir de los Andes, Cafayate, Salta
The Amauta is something completely different, as a representative Malbec from Cafayate. You´ll find the fruity notes, of course, but the first thing you notice are spices like black pepper, some green-veggy notes like grilled green bell-pepper, and some oak-related notes, like chocolate and vanilla which are more obviously present in this wine. In the mouth, it is an easy drinking wine, like the other one, but these oaky notes dominate over the fruits. Definitely an interesting wine for those oaky wine lovers!
This is just a brief look at the diversity that Malbecs can show among each other. Let´s hope that this varietal keeps surprising us year after year!
Martin Krawczyk Pardo
Sommelier at Entaste
Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers