Updated: May 27
"I think the great secret is Argentina knew how to care for, spoil, and interpret the Malbec variety"
MB: How would you define the key reasons that make Argentine Malbec wines so unique and popular around the world?
MP: Malbec grape found a magnificent adaptation in Argentina. I think the great secret is Argentina knew how to care for, spoil, and interpret the Malbec variety. Argentina today produces wines for all segments, from easy to drink wines with round tannins, to very complex wines with excellent aging capacity. Malbec has a very significant expression of each terroir in Argentina.
MB: What is the Malbec trend at the moment and what style is famous among new consumers?
MP: Nowadays, wines in contact with oak are consumed less often. Argentina is producing fresher wines, with Malbec from different regions around the country and with different styles.
Today we make Malbec wines made in Argentina with our own identity.
MB: What style of Malbec do you personally prefer?
MP: I prefer a Malbec that reflects its terroir, and in which the intervention of the winemaker is as little as possible.
I like wines with natural acidity, and that they represent the region they are from. I like to taste oak, but with right amount of balance. I always use the following metaphor “in a work of art the painting shines, but all paintings need a frame. However, a frame should only accompany the work of art”
MB: Tell us about the work you are doing at Bodega Chañarmuyo and in the region of La Rioja, Argentina
MP: Bodega Chañarmuyo is located in a valley at more than 5,500 feet above sea level with a wide temperature range. As a new region we are looking to give it its own identity.
Our goal is to bring out the best expression of each grape variety.
We are making sparkling wines using the traditional Champenoise method, previously unthinkable in this area of La Rioja. It is the drastic temperature changes that produce natural acidity in wine, which is excellent for developing sparkling and rosé wines.
In addition, we are producing Tannat with a very round and sweet tannin which makes this wine very friendly. We are also producing Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Our wines are interesting and attractive with great aging potential.
MB: In your words, what do we celebrate on World Malbec Day?
MP: We celebrate the Argentine wine industry as a whole. We are very proud of the excellent work we are doing in the country with all grape varieties. Today Argentinian Malbec is positioned in the international market with wines awarded 100 points. This is undoubtedly a great recognition for all the work that has been carried out.
Matías Prieto is an agronomist and enologist. He worked in several wineries such as Monte Quieto, Catena Zapata, Bodega Agrelo, Bodega Chañarmuyo, among others. He belongs to the new generation of young winemakers who are risk takers and seek to develop wines that bring out its terroir.