This edition moves us to a different land, almost in fact a different world. Instead of a European wine, this wine comes from our neighbors to the south. The land of the Gaucho. The land where the Tango was born. The home of Evita Peron. The land where steak, good steak, is not only a staple, but a meat that is necessary to existence. And wine. Good, hearty wines that complement not only a meal, but a lifestyle.
Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world, but 90% of it never leaves the country. These people truly believe that wine goes with everything whether you are going out for dinner or a date, or staying home alone, or getting together with friends. The order here seems to be wine, followed by strong coffee and back to wine. Not a bad life if I do say so myself!
Founded in 1993 this winery has become one of the most important producers in all of South America, producing such varietals as Chardonnay, Syrah and Malbec. Its name is derived from its native surroundings, “Moras” meaning mulberry trees. So this is a very unique location in that the grapes, the fruit of the vine, are nestled within a range of mulberries. Under the guidance of renowned viticulturalist Richard Smart the winery has the capacity to produce a total of about 2.5 million barrels per year in its modern, temperature controlled facility.
The city of San Juan, the home of this winery, is located in a very fertile valley within a rocky, mountainous area. The climate is best compared to that of a desert because of the long, very hot summers where a temperature of 116 degrees is not uncommon. In fact, the only thing you may never see in this region is a cloud because it is sunny and warm virtually every day. Winters may see the temperature go down to the mid to high 30’s, but this is for a very short time during the year. But this region does manage to produce some very fine wines, solid and distinct, and very consistently bold.
Malbec is a very interesting wine. Celebrated for bold flavor yet supple texture, it has become a South American favorite. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France where it was normally used to contribute color and tannins to wine. At one point, it was grown in so many areas in the country that it was actually known by more than 1000 names! This “black wine” of France was once the favorite of Russian tsars. But as time went on, the grape almost disappeared because it was too sensitive to the wet and cold weather in much of the country so it was kind of pushed aside. It was brought to Argentina in 1868 where it was thought to be a natural in the higher altitude landscape. It didn’t take long for it to be established and flourish in the warmer climate. Today, more than 70% of the world’s Malbec is produced on the South American continent and is considered to be the champion of Argentine wines.
This is just a very beautiful glass of wine. Very deep and dark purple in the glass which sends out a rainbow as the sun hits it. Full of flavor, this is a robust, full bodied wine that hits the palate hard and strong. The look and the aroma give way to a flavor that lets you know what Malbec is all about. It is made to go along with a well cooked steak or beef ribs, both staples of its native country. Let it sit for at least one hour before pouring and notice the strength as you swirl it around the glass. This is an excellent wine, and at this price point, right around $14, an even better value. It is drinking very well now but certainly will improve given a little more time. Be patient if you so desire but I do recommend it now.
Alcohol – 13.5%