The Malbec Masters 2017: results and analysis

WONDERFUL EXAMPLES

In terms of particular parts of Argentina, the scores were highest for Malbecs from the Uco Valley, but there were also some wonderful examples from Pedernal in San Juan, with Pyros showing the greatness attainable in this relatively unknown Argentine valley.

Stenwreth also said that she was “happy to see Calchaquí Valley showing off with their Malbecs this year, with lovely examples in Piatelli and El Esteco, proving that the region is not only worthy of becoming famous for their beautiful Cabs. “They might have a tiny production compared with Mendoza, but this area is worthy of much more attention.”

Finally, the bright cherry-scented expression of the Trapiche Pure – which sees no oak influence – was a revelation for the judges, showing the quality inherent in Malbec “without the makeup”, according to Stenwreth.

Overall, the tasting was testament to the versatily of Malbec, which can be used to make price-competitive juicy-fruity entrylevel wines, or concentrated and powerful oak-laden expressions, along with fine complex aromatic examples. Although the quality attainable in different parts of the world may be similarly high, the character of the wines clearly varies according to source, proving that Malbec can also be an effective transmission of terroir.

As a result, one can be sure we’ll be seeing a lot more single vineyard expressions in the future – a development already being driven by Terrazas, Trapiche and Doña Paula to great effect. In other words, the approach to Malbec is becoming Burgundian.

The judges (l-r): David Round MW, Consultant; Sebastian Payne MW, The Wine Society; Madeleine Stenwreth MW, Consultant; Anthony Foster MW, Algodon Wine Estates; Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Consultant; Patrick Schmitt MW, the drinks business; Clément Robert MS, 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen

Over the following pages are the medallists from this year’s Malbec Masters, along with comments from the judges.

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