Perhaps Argentina comes to mind when you think about places making exciting Malbec? Couldn't blame you. It certainly has taken wine drinkers here in the US (and all over the world) by storm for its price, quality, richness, and approachability. But just across the Andes, there's a country quietly producing distinct, and distinctly delicious Malbec: Chile. On a recent trip sponsored by Wines of Chile, I got to experience first hand the surprising Malbecs of Argentina's neighbor.
Viu Manent was arguably home to the most impressive Malbecs. Different from Argentine examples, as well as the old-world, rustic style of Malbec made in France's Cahors region, Chilean Malbecs have a distinct profile. As Viu Manent's Chief Enologist, Patricio Celedon explained, as far as the style of his Malbecs are concerned, "We are in between Cahors and Argentina, between the rough tannin of Cahors and the big body and ripeness of Argentina." (Tannins are those mouth-drying compounds in wine that can make your mouth feel like you sucked on a tea bag. Which, incidentally, I don't recommend you doing. But you get my point, right?) Try their single-vineyard Malbec, the 2010 San Carlos Estate. And if you're looking for a bargain, the 2011 Secreto and the Grand Reserva will keep you warm all winter long
Pour yourself another glass and continue on to see two more wineries doing Malbec proud in Chile.