We visited Mendoza less than a year ago and spent 5 days tasting Malbec, Torrontes and Chardonnay. Located in the eastern foothills of the Andes, in the shadow of Mount Aconcagua, vineyards are planted at the some of the highest altitudes in the world with the average site located 600-1,100 meters above sea level. The principal wine-producing areas fall into two main departments – Maipu and Luján de Cuyo.. The region also produces good Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, sparkling wines, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Torrontes. The Mendoza Province is one of Argentina’s most important wine regions, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the country’s entire wine production. Mendoza city itself was a little strange… The Argentine economy has been turbulent for years, and in Autumn 2016 prices for hotels, food and wine were slightly more expensive than the UK. Some things like sweets, shoes, perfume and electrical goods were significantly more expensive. As a consequence of these high prices coupled with high unemployment, low pay and it just being South America – crime was high. Armed guards were present in hotel lobbies, on restaurant doors, wandering (empty) shopping malls… This was either unsettling or reassuring – I’m still not sure which. This year the hotel we stayed at, The Park Hyatt, introduced additional airport-style security arches and bag x-rays. I’m intrigued as to what has precipitated this move…
The people we met were all lovely; friendly and keen to share the good things about Argentina – particularly the food and wine. Sales of Malbec are at an all time high in the UK – and deservedly so; it’s good wine and most of the available offerings are well priced (in the UK at least). The UK market leader is Trivento – owned by the mammoth Vina Concha Y Toro company from neighbouring Chile. Founded 21 years ago, Trivento Bodegas y Vinedos produces brand-name wines under their own label. Trivento has become the most diversely distributed Argentine wine brand in the world.
Tasting Notes: An intense red. Aromas of cherry and raspberries and notes of vanilla and coconut due to 6 months aged in French oak barrels. Well balanced; sweet tannins and a velvety mouth feel. At £8 this is good wine – but I usually wait until it is discounted to £6 a bottle (which it often is) and buy several bottles
Region of Origin – Mendoza
Wine Colour – Red
Price – £6 reduced from £8
Where do I get it from? Tesco
Current Vintage – 2016
Producer – Trivento (Concha y Toro)
Grape – Malbec
Country – Argentina
Points – 90
Food Pairing: We had this with picanha steak. It was a brilliant match – the wine seemed to come alive with flame grilled steak.