Malbec is the wine most wine drinkers in the US associate with Argentina, although malbec isn’t the only wine produced in Argentina nor is Argentina the only region to produce malbec.
As you may know, malbec is one of the six grape varieties permitted in Bordeaux wines and it is the dominant grape in wines from Cahors. It is certainly grown elsewhere too. But when I think of malbec I generally think of two styles of malbec: old world style, which I associate predominantly with Cahors and new world style, which I associate predominantly with Mendoza, Argentina.
Malbec from Mendoza tends to be more fruit forward, with higher amounts of residual sugar that give a touch of sweetness to the wine. These wines have become popular in the US as they’re often approachable, easy drinking wines that are frequently quite affordable too.
Old world malbec, like that from Cahors, tends to be more tannic and not quite as fruity.
While these are generalizations, they’re are not hard rules and wine makers have the choice and ability to produce wines as they see fit. And Antigal appears to break the norms with their Uno malbec, in a good way.
Before I tasted this wine, I expected it to be a fairly typical Argentine malbec. But I was pleasantly surprised.
The nose is complex and enjoyable, offering vanilla, tobacco, blackberry, black pepper and cedar aromas. The palate is well balanced and structured, delivering blackberry, chocolate, plum and vanilla flavors. The fruit is present but not overpowering as is often the case, in my opinion, with Mendoza malbec. The mouthfeel is nice too. There are some fairly heavy tannins — which I like but won’t appeal to everyone — adding a black tea quality to the mid-palate and finish. Black pepper notes also makes an appearance on the finish. It’s very good.
I like the packaging too, with a prominent “1” affixed to the bottle. It makes a statement, as does this wine.
Wine: Antigal Uno
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.