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Argentina is one of the largest wine producing nations, but for most of the last century almost all of their production stayed at home. That has certainly changed!
The Argentine grape most well known to Americans is Malbec. Originally a Bordeaux blending grape, used extensively in Cahors and in the Loire Valley, this French grape grows extremely well in the high altitudes of the Andes.
Mendoza, home to most of the well known Malbecs, gets almost no rain (irrigation comes from snow melt from even higher elevations), has a long growing season (almost no chance of frost) and has large day/night temperature swings. This yields wine that is rich, fruity, supple, and yet at low crop level, can still be quite complex.
Other varietals grown in Argentina include the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, as well as the less well known Bonarda (red) and Torrontes (white).
Barda is made from fruit from a 20-year-old ... more