Argentina Wine and Grape Varieties

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Argentine grapeRed Wines:

Argentina is known to have a wide range of cultivated grape varieties to boast about. Its many wine regions and important viticultural areas have the advantage of growing some of the finest quality grapes that are made into the best red wines. Here is a list of the notable red wine grape varieties being grown in Argentina’s premier wine regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Also known as the king of the red wine grape varieties, the Cabernet Sauvignon is widely grown for its great capacity to adapt well to all kinds of weather. The Cabernet Sauvignon grown along Argentina’s entire wine route.

Red wine produced from this grape variety enjoys a tasty characteristic when matured well and with full body to boot. Red wine produced from this popular grape variety is well suited for meat, stews, pasta as well as desserts.

Malbec

This grape variety has turned into the premier wine from Argentina. The Argentinian Malbec has been able to garner well-deserved awards from enological contests worldwide. The features of the Malbec grape variety may vary according to the different geographical characteristics from where it is being grown.

This grape variety reaches its highest development in the area of Maipu in the Mendoza wine region. The Malbec is able to produce Argentinian wines with a pleasant taste with distinguishable earthy notes. Wines from this grape variety also acquire a medium body, vigorous texture and taste with some rustic touches.

Syrah

This red wine grape variety is believed to be an anceint variety that has been grown for almost 3,000 years. Syrah grape varieties offer a strongly tannic characteristics and a varietal that is ideal for long agi ng in wood.

The red wine produced from Syrah usually has an intense aroma, with spicy tones of cloves, cinnamon and pepper, with hints of a fruit and a touch of dark chocolate. It has a silky texture when sipped and provides a long aftertaste. Red wines produced from the Syrah grape variety go well with matured cheese, pasta, meat and stews.

White Wines:

Argentina has a number of grape varieties that are used to produce some of the finest white wines. Here is a list of them:

Chardonnay

This main Fench grape variety is also known as the queen of white grapes. Chardonnay is able to produce deep and delicate white wines with a pale yellow color with greenish tones. It usually has a fresh fruit smell that can be likened to that of apples or they can be also at times likened to the smell of flowers. Chardonnay usually produces wines of a balanced flavor. It has been asserted that Chardonnay white wines was what brought women to love wine.

Chardonnay is mostly grown in the San Rafael, Maipu and Tupango areas in the province of Mendoza as well as in Alto Valle in the Rio Negro region. Most of the Chardonnay in Argentina are being used as the base for some of the finest sparkling wines. Its fruit is characterised by its spherical and small shape with yellow color that turns amber when becoming ripe. It also has a thin skin that may need to be given some care when harvested. Its grape clusters are half-compact and are best harvested from early to medium ripeness.

Torrontes

The Torrontes has become Argentina’s representative in the international white wine market. Its exact origin is not fully known but is said to have come from Malvasia, an area somewhere in the Mediterranean area. It is widely recognized as the revered product of the wine makers in Cafayete Valley in the Salta region.

The microclimate in the said area has been the reason why the Torrontes enjoys exceptional development, producing fine white wines that are fruity in flavor and with a long aftertaste. Its grape clusters grow medium sized to big with medium compactness. The shape of each fruit is seen as medium-sized, pointed and spherical with a fleshy pulp that is covered by a greenish yellow skin. Torrontes is best harvested early with its aging not befitting for wine production.

Sauvignon Blanc

The Sauvignon Blanc is the other of Argentina’s finest white grape variety after Chardonnay. Its origin can be traced back to wine regions in Southwestern France. Sauvignon Blanc usually produces dry fresh wine with a remarkable acidity. It offers a smell that features the aroma of cassis, grapefruit and maracuya. Sauvignon Blanc, unlike Chardonnay, can be used for wine production on its own.

But there are also times when it can be mixed with the Semillon grape variety in order to come up with a more remarkable product of excellent quality. It is a specialty wine that requires the skills of experienced wine makers to produce. The Sauvignon Blanc is characterised by its fruit with spherical and greenish yellow shape that has a madiuim to large size. It also has medium skin with an aromatic flavor and consistent pulp. It is best harvested early for wine production.