Malbec and Torrontés, The Grapes of Mendoza
The two most commercially important wines of the Mendoza region of Argentina are made from the Malbec and Torrontes varieties and tend to be unblended single varietal wines.
Of the most commercial importance is Malbec which actually originated as a Bordeaux variety and has found some degree of prominence in the Cahors region in the south west of France. Whilst it is often used as a blending component in France it has come to the fore internationally through the full bodied yet easy drinking wines being made in the foothills of the Andes.
The Torrontés grape variety was until recently thought to be the same as the similarly aromatic Albillo Mayer grape which is grown in moderate quantities in Spain. DNA testing has however shown that there is no link between the two varieties and that the torrontés grown n Argentina is most likely indigenous to the country. A skillful winemaker can use Torrontés to craft wines for early drinking that are not too heavy, are high in acidity, and are intriguingly aromatic in a way reminiscent of but not identical to Muscat.
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