Mendoza, the most famous wine region in Argentina, has put Malbec on the map. The first planting was put in the ground in 1994. Since then, it has become the largest grown varietal in Argentina. It thrives in the high altitude (base of the Andes mountains) landscapes of Mendoza.
While Mendoza has exploded on the scene, a new upstart region is beginning to gain steam in Argentina. That region is Salta. It is at the north end of Argentina and provides unique climates that help certain varieties thrive. Their most notable varietal is Torrontes (They are wonderful and I will write about one soon.) They are also having luck with Malbec but are using it like it as a blending grape.
That brings me to the wine of the day, Hermanos Malbec-Tannat blend. Tannat is a interesting grape that is known for extreme tannins and racy acidity. It is rare to find it on its own and not in a blend because of these characteristics. In Uruguay however, it can be produced soft tannins and less acidity. It also shows off more fruit. Some say that Uruguayan Tannat could be the next Argentine Malbec in years to come. Salta shares some of the characteristics of Uruguay in terms of Climate so they are able to grow Tannat as well.
In terms of this blend, it is unique on the palate. It's a good mix of fruit (Plum and Black Cherry) and earthiness (Anise and Cocoa). It's big but not bold. It's on the smoother side, not the chewy.
Hermanos Malbec-Tannat in a Nutshell:
Description: 70% Malbec and 30% Tannat. Deep Red in Color with a purple tint. The fruits tasted were Plum and Black Cherry. A touch on the greener side, could be a true eye opener with a year in the cellar.
Pairings: A wonderful for gamey red meat such as Lamb (Shanks, Kabobs, chops, etc). Also would accompany a nice filet wrapped in bacon well.
Vintages/Price: Current vintage is 2010. The price should be right around $15 wherever you find it. 1500 cases made so may not be around for long.
For more information, please visit http://www.vineconnections.com/viewproduct.php?c=1&pid=292