The famous Argentinian red? It’s Malbec isn’t it?! Of course it is, especially if any one of us lives anywhere near an Argentinian restaurant the wine list will be chock full of them. Maybe somewhere in there there’s going to be the odd Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Shiraz skulking about, but the chances of two of the most planted red grapes in Argentina being in there are slim.
Bonarda is a grape we’ll be talking about a lot more over the coming weeks I’m sure (especially as I get to know Ant’s tastes in wine!). I think it’s still just about the most planted red grape variety in Argentina, but in the chasing pack the French immigrant Tannat is lurking.
Most of the vineyards in Argentina are at pretty high altitudes. The sun is pretty hot, and the altitude helps to cool down the vines as they bring through the grapes. This is especially important with Tannat, whose thick skins can lead to some impressive tannic wines if not watched carefully.
Most Tannat grown in Argentina will see some maturation in oak before it’s released. This is mostly to try and make the tannin settle down into the wine a bit more, but it also adds a few tastes from the oak itself, including a bit of smokiness and sweet spices like vanilla.
I’d imagine this one to be right up there with the French Tannat in terms of weight, with the Uruguayan one slightly mellower in body and punchiness.
I guess we’ll see this weekend, eh?
Other posts in NWTW Week 10: