If you haven't had the chance to explore the wines of Argentina yet, Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec, Lot 53 Cabernet Sauvignon, and Lot 220 Cabernet Franc from the Mendoza region are great places to start. This trio makes for the perfect introduction to the power, potential, and crowd-pleasing nature of Argentinian wines. To celebrate this region, let's explore what makes the wines from Argentina so special.
Malbec is originally from France, but has thrived and grown beautifully in Argentina as well. Argentinian Malbec producers have made it their mission to showcase only excellent quality wines at a great price, something they share in common with 90+ Cellars.
The wine region of Mendoza is perched at the Andes Mountains foothills and is Argentina's largest viticultural area. Most of the vineyards are grown in the hills, and the grapes grown here tend to be elegant, displaying floral aromas and freshness. Los Andes also has a continental climate with a cooling effect. These are some of the factors vital to fruit quality and, therefore, the wines' success.
There are many sub-regions within Mendoza. For instance, Lujan de Cuyo is one of Mendoza's three sub-regions and is home to some of the most famous names in Argentinian wine, including 90+ Cellars Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec. The vineyards stretch from the Mendoza River out towards the mountains, which can average over 3,000 feet. While the region may be known as one of the world's premier Malbec regions, this high elevation area also produces world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Malbec is the most planted grape in Argentina. However, the style of Malbec varies depending on where it is grown. On one hand, Malbec grapes tend to be elegant and finessed if grown in high altitudes, displaying floral aromas and freshness. On the other hand, lower altitude grapes tend to be fuller-bodied, with accentuated black fruit.
90+ Cellars Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec, with its deep, complex flavors and a touch of terroir, exemplifies the very essence of Argentine winemaking. Meticulously tended Malbec grapes grown on high-elevation old vines in Lujan de Cuyo make Lot 23 a quality-priced Malbec. After fermenting in stainless steel, the wine ages for six months in new and used French oak. This process gives this exquisite wine aromas of blackberries, blueberries, plum, and spice. On the palate, it is well balanced with structure and mild tannins. Dark cherry and hints of wood smoke emerge on the finish to leave an elegant and lasting impression.
Cabernet Sauvignon from Los Andes
Though Argentina is well-known for Malbec, it also produces exceptional expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Andes Mountains provide a unique terroir with diverse soils, altitudes, and temperatures. These variations contribute to the unique flavor profile of Cabernet Sauvignon from this region. Here, you'll find Cabernet Sauvignon that is rich, full-bodied, and complex in character.
Lot 53 Cabernet Sauvignon is fermented in stainless steel and then aged six months in a new French oak blend. The wine displays a melody of black currants and red cherries rising above a backdrop of leather and cocoa. You'll taste juicy, dark berry fruit with a hint of of sweet spice and savory plums on the palate.
The Uco Valley, nestled in the heart of Mendoza, Argentina, is another thrilling wine region in the country. What makes this region special is its high altitudes, abundant sunshine, and refreshingly cool nights, creating the perfect conditions for the Cabernet Franc grape.
The valley's unique terroir, characterized by rocky soils and abundant sunshine, plays a pivotal role in shaping the character of its wines. This combination results in wines with a richness of flavor and a distinctive aromatic profile that truly sets them apart, and Lot 220 is no exception.
This region stands as testament to the incredible diversity and potential of Argentina's winemaking landscape, producing wines that are not only distinctive but also exceptional in quality. Lot 220 Cabernet Franc is worth exploring if you're a fan of this grape variety or interested in discovering its unique expression from a different region.
So, if you're ready to embark on a journey through the terroirs and traditions of Argentina, Lot 23, Lot 53, and Lot 220 are a delightful starting point, offering a taste of the remarkable wine culture this South American country has to offer.
To further celebrate the achievements of Argentina's wine-growing success, we celebrate World Malbec Day on April 17th - so make sure to mark your calendars and have a bottle of Lot 23 ready to go!
This blog post was co-written by Martha Cisneros, Wine Blogger and Co-Founder of Latinas Wine Club (@winedivaa on Instagram).