by Fred McMillin
A High-Tech Malbec
Argentina, the world's fifth largest wine producer, is a slumbering giant. It will be years before modernization brings Argentina's wines up to international standards. The best reason to buy them is perhaps as a vanishing point for a vanishing past, a reminder of a blunt, soft wine style once common around the world.
...Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator & Marc Dorman, Wine Enthusiast
The Rest of the Story
There's nobody better at awakening slumbering giants than the dynamic Jess Jackson. He exploded onto the wine scene 15 years ago with a unique (off-dry) Chardonnay, and has been acquiring top-flight properties and personnel ever since. Now, to its benefit, Argentina is in his sights.
Where to start? Winemaster Jancis Robinson says Bordeaux's Malbec can produce luscious reds capable of extended aging, particularly when grown in the Lujan de Cuyo region of Mendoza. The Mendoza region, in the west-central part of Argentina, has the best soil and climate for viticulture.
So what did Jess do? I'm sipping his Malbec from Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza. and the 100% Malbec is from two treasures, the Cassone Vineyard of 75-year-old vines and the Calise Vineyard of 120-year-old vines...providing plenty of that well-known geriatric-grape oomph. Details:
1997 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
Argentina not only is a huge producer of wine, but also the largest per capita consumer in North and South America. My latest figures show that for every glass a U.S. citizen drinks, his Argentinian counterpart drinks eight!
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