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Terrazas de los Andes Alto Malbec 1999
Aroma: Red, black and dried fruit especially plums and figs.
Palette: Rich and juicy with well-ripened tannins combine with black fruit jam and vanilla.
A century later in 1959, Robert Jean de Vogue, president of Moët-Chandon, had the foresight to recognize the potential of Argentina and to select it as the location of the company's first subsidiary outside of France. Worthy heirs of these pioneers, the founders of Terrazas de los Andes saw the singularity of Argentina's terroirs, and had the vision and the audacity to unite France's long and rich winemaking heritage with local tradition and talent. Thus was born Terrazas de los Andes, in 1996.
Over the years, the team has been dedicated to carefully select the best altitude terroirs in Mendoza, both in Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, as well as Salta for our Torrontes, to deliver the ideal freshness and alluvial soil diversity for each type of grape.
Thriving in the unique natural conditions of the Andean Mountains, Malbec has come to embody Argentinian identity. Our Malbec wines, produced with hand harvested grapes from select high altitude vineyards, epitomize generosity and intensity, offering a large variety of expressions and high-quality tannins. They are particularly appreciated for their silkiness and ample mouthfeel.
With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.
Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.
Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.
The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.
Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.
In the Glass
Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.
Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.
If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.