Rio may have gotten all of the media attention, but when it comes to South America, there’s nothing more iconic than Argentina and Chile. While mostly known for the breathtaking Andes mountains and exotic rainforests, there is actually a huge diversity in climates ranging from arid deserts to penguin-inhabited glaciers. These unique conditions create very special wines with qualities you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
While the beautiful purple Malbec grapes are grown throughout the globe, Argentine Malbec is increasingly becoming seen as a defining “national varietal”. It was introduced to the region in the mid 19th century where vintners quickly discovered that the sun- and heat-loving grapes prospered amongst the unique topography.
Today it is the most widely-planted red grape variety in the country. The wine is characterized by its deep color and intense fruity flavors with a velvety texture and softer tannins, pairing especially well with lean cuts of meat.
Some of our favorite examples of Argentine Malbec are from the high-altitude vineyards of the Mendoza region, the product of years of refinement in the foothills of the Andes:
Agua de Piedra Grand Seleccion Malbec
Chile is a land like no other, with an extreme north-south length of almost 2,700 miles, but an average width of less than 112 miles. Cool oscillating winds flow down from the Andes, washing over the sunny vineyards towards the sea, causing vast temperature fluctuations from day to night.
The natural boundaries of the region have protected the vineyards from many common invasive grape diseases seen around the world, making the “purity” of ungrafted vines no small point of pride for local vintners. A large amount of French families who immigrated to Chile in the late 20th century have combined traditional old-world techniques with the advantages of a uniquely Chilean flavor profile and helped grow the industry to become the fifth-largest exporter of wine globally.
With a wide variety of styles produced throughout the country, you can find a great match for any situation. Here are a few of our picks:
These wines are so good you’ll want to grab them by the case. Come into your favorite NH Liquor & Wine Outlet from now until September 5th and save 15% on the purchase of 12 or more wines from Chile, Argentina & Uruguay, mixed or matched, any size.