While still far behind the wine kings that are France, Italy, and Australia, Argentina continues to enter the ring and fight for its place in the cellars, restaurants, and glasses of American wine enthusiasts.
Washington Post columnist Dave McIntyre gives his view on why the Argentine wine industry has become a success.
He claims that its rapid export growth has much to do with the enthusiasm for Argentina’s unique grape varieties. “Argentina is the darling of the US wine media, which seems enthralled with malbec and, to a lesser but still enthusiastic degree, bonarda (an Italian variety related, if not identical to the juicy charbono that used to be popular in California field blends), and torrontés, an aromatic white wine.”
McIntyre states that the presence of the elites of the wine industry have made people curious . He writes, “We are suckers for famous names like the notorious consultant Michel Rolland, and his ownership of Clos de la Siete is catnip for wine columnists. Other famous foreigners such as Paul Hobbs also gain media attention. And it is important that leading figures such as the elegant and eloquent Nicolas Catena his daughter Laura and Ché Guevara-doppelgänger son Ernesto are all mediagenic.”
While Argentina still lags behind Australia in terms of wine exports, he points out that “the winestream media has all but abandoned Australia, in part because of the overwhelming market success of an underwhelming brand (Yellowtail), but also because of a backlash against the heavy, syrupy sweet, high-alcohol style of shiraz that came to define Australian wine in the 1990s and the first half of this decade.” He inserts that while Argentina has yet to brand a wine on the level of Yellowtail, exports continue to grow and imports of Australian wine have dropped.
Due to this shift in tastes, the drinkability of Argentine wine has become appealing. “Argentina’s expression of malbec tends to be moderate in alcohol and soft in acidity and tannins, ideal for the American palate and today’s sensibilities.”
The bang for the buck is still the number one reason why it has grown so popular. He finishes saying “Argentina’s winemakers succeed in producing terrific malbec that offers great value at $5 or $100, and all along the price range in between. As long as they don’t lose sight of that value — especially in the sweet spot of $10-$20 — Argentina will remain a market force for some time to come.”
Source: The Washington Post
Link : http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/wine/wine-what-is-it-about-argentina.html
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