This exceptional wine is from the single vineyard La Madras, on the slopes of the Andes Mountains in Argentina at an altitude of 2,800 feet, allowing for a temperate Continental climate. Grapes are harvested and selected by hand, gently pressed, and only the first pressed juice used. The wine is then aged in French and American oak for six months.
The 2002 Malbec is a striking deep brilliant purple color. The nose is ripe and full, reminiscent of dark cherries, plums, and chocolate with undertones of loam and earth. In the mouth, the wine displays a profound core of ripe, blackberry jam fruit, lengthening into a sophisticated weighty finish coupled with an elegant silkness. This is a rich, extracted Malbec, atypical of most Malbecs from Argentina.
Ricardo Santos Winery
CUCHILLAS DE LUNLUNTA Sociedad Anónima is a family business owned by the Santos family, who have been related to wine making for more than forty years.
In 1995 they started producing wines exclusively with grapes from Las Madras, the winery located in the first region, in Russell, Maipú. Las Madras has an area of 12 hectares exclusively planted to Malbec, the only grape used to produce "El Malbec de Ricardo Santos."
Since making a high-quality, hand-crafted wine is a very complex and delicate task, Cuchillas de Lunlunta devotes all their efforts to the produc-tion of only one wine: "El Malbec de Ricardo Santos."
View all Ricardo Santos Wines
Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local's everyday dinner. Yet it's hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.
Unlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.