Ottawa, ON

April 17, 2018

By Matt Steeves

Malbec World Day is celebrated to pay homage to the influence of the late president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1888), who made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry.   On this day in 1853, he proposed diversifying and expanding the country’s wine industry, including a school of agriculture, and thanks to that visionary leadership Argentina has become renowned as a world-class wine producing nation, for which Malbec has become a significant and symbolic part of the Argentinian identity.

Although Malbec originated in south west of France, and continues to be planted there and blended in their wines, these days it’s in Argentina that the finest Malbec is produced and where that grape’s iconic popularity has made it synomous with Argentina.

Argentina’s most highly rated Malbec wines originate from Mendoza’s high-altitude wine regions of Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley – a region that is home to Terrazas de los Andes’ vineyards. Their location alongside the Andes foothills combined with the climate of the region produces very complex and interesting wines, such as the value-priced Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2015.  Today I’ll be enjoying a Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec while I celebrate Malbec World Day!

Here’s my review of the Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2015.

This boldly flavoured Malbec is sourced from high altitude vineyards planted over a kilometer above sea level throughout Las Compuertas and Paraje Altamira (Uco Valley) regions of Mendoza, Argentina, which contributes to this wine’s refreshing and expressive characteristics. Jam packed with smoky and spicy dark fruits, plum, pepper, leather, and herbaceous notes, this value-priced Malbec displays great balance, with vivid texture and refreshing dark fruit persisting on the long finish. Enjoy with Asado grilled prime steak with sauteed peppers and ensalada criolla. Drink 2018-2025. Tasted April 2018. 91+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available at LCBO – $19.95

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Another Malbec that I have grown very fond of over the past few years is the Son Vida Malbec and their most recent vintage, the 2015 Special Reserve Malbec.  Here’s my review of this wine which although not in stores now should be hitting the shelves in 2018:

This single vineyard expression of Mendoza Malbec showcases exactly how well structured, complex, and delicious premium Malbec can be, especially those from the high altitude (+1km a.s.l.) Paraje Altamira GI, a region renowned for producing the finest Argentinian Malbec. Deep ruby red with an opaque core, the nose shows sweet Damson plum, blackberry, mocha, graphite, pipe tobacco, and sous bois. The palate is rich and concentrated with dark berries, blueberry, Damson plum, cacao, and leather on the finish. An exceptional wine that is showing beautifully now and will only gain further complexity over the next 5-10 years. Enjoy with Matambre (Argentinian stuffed flank steak) or Tira de Asado (Argentinian-Style Grilled Beef Ribs) – both terrific pairings! For $30, the 2015 SonVida Special Reserve Malbec offers great value. Tasted December 2017. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Look for the 2015 SonVida Special Reserve Malbec in 2018…