$20 Malbec Vs. $100 Malbec | Which Argentina Wine Should You Buy? | TWJ_Ep#23

By Brian Lemay 3 comments

What is up guys? Julien Miquel here of Social Vignerons, back with another one video. This is episode 23 of the Tasting With
Julien series. As I was working on a video project, I was given the chance to taste a range of different Malbecs from Argentina. famous Malbec red wines from Argentina from 20 dollars, all the way up to nearly 100 dollars through
a $50 Malbec. So I thought, simply that I would just share my thoughts
about: “should you spend more money on your Malbec from Argentina?
Is it worth spending $100 vs. 20 dollars? or maybe go for the $50 one.
Let’s find out and dig into these Malbecs. For those of you who don’t know Argentina, it is actually the fifth largest biggest wine producing country in the world, just after the
United States, and obviously, Italy, France, and Spain. So, a large producing nation.
We have three wines from Mendoza, the biggest wine-producing region in
Argentina that makes some of the best Malbec wines in particular.
So, let’s start off with Terrazas de los Andes high altitude vineyards Malbec 2015.
This is a wine that you should be able to find in many many wine shops.
It is made by Bodegas Chandon, so the branch of Moet & Chandon in Argentina,
a large French wine luxury group. It’s called terraces because their vineyards
are planted at different altitudes around the Mendoza region. So we’re
talking pretty high altitude above 2500 feet. Let’s see what it tastes like!
Definitely a rich quite dense a color. Purple hues to it. it is definitely typical of Malbec in its expression. It’s pungently fruity.
You get fresh blackberries, some raspberry coulis in there, the typical hint of anise and mint that
is typical of Malbec with a touch of vegetal lifted vegetal and also the spicy
pepperiness to it. So it’s a lively, vibrant nose. You definitely want to dig into it.
It’s fruity, it’s charming, it’s elegant as well and it seems that it’s well made.
Let’s find out… So yeah, the typical ample body, the soft tannins are a little edgy, there are a little granulous tannins
in there but I don’t mind. This makes you salivate to the finish.
This makes it quite vibrant as well with a savory, dry and a bit of tension, a bit of bitterness
to the finish which will make it go well with simple and tasty foods,
barbecues, pasta, rich tomato sauce pasta, this sort
of rich dish. So pleasant, well-rounded wine. I would score this around 90/100 points,
maybe 90+. For $20, you’re getting a wine that starts
to be quite interesting in the world class category. Low in the world class category but a very well-crafted, juicy, dry, food-friendly, expressive,
middle-ground between Napa Valley rich Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon style
and a Bordeaux, more restrained style. It’s sort of in-between the new world and old world expressions. So for $20 you’re getting a lot of wine for
for the bucks. A very well crafted Terrazas de los Andes Malbec that I can
definitely recommend. An excellent buy.
But should you invest and put a little more money into your Malbec to impress your friends or
enjoy yourself a bit more? Let’s find out and dig into it. So, for $50 or two and a half
times the price, yep it’s a jump up! But you know wine is expensive to produce.
For 50 dollars you can buy, from the same producer, this Terrazas de los Andes Single Vineyard Malbec. It’s called Las Compuertas, the vineyard name.
This is a 2013 vintage, a relatively cool vintage so it should
give us more tension, a more fruity expression because it was a cooler
vintage, less powerful, lesser body. At least that’s what we expect
from 2013. But what is very special about this vineyard is that it’s produced
from very old vines planted in 1929 and ungrafted vines with no american
rootstock on the Vitis vinifera Malbec. Extremely old vines, high altitude,
3,000 something feet altitude. So: high altitude, very old vines +
single vineyard, that sounds like a good wine! Let’s find out!
Definitely as I’m pouring it, the color is much more intense. You might be able to see it,
it’s very very dark. There is quite a lot of purple hues as well as red. When
you got some red and purple, so a bit of blue, it makes the intensity of the
appearance, the sight of the wine much bigger so you’re much more impressed straightaway by the color. Then, the nose is also, straightaway, much much deeper. You’re getting the typical blackberry jam, the strawberry jam,
the strawberry coulis, the pepper, and the mint. But here we find a lot more depth. There’s a lot more going on a lot more, particularly dark chocolate and dark cocoa in the aromatic profile.
It’s a lot spicier too, sweet spices, Christmas pudding type of spices as well.
It’s also peppery and minty. A lot going on on the aromatic profile
so you can easily spend five minutes smelling this wine and you still find
different notes. where that had maybe four, five, or six different notes this has about 20 or 25 different notes
that you can pick up and pick out smelling the wine. That’s a good sign. So, almost a completely different universe.
We are on the same spectrum of black ripe fruit, dark ripe cherry jam with chocolate, and cocoa. It’s like a forest cake.
It’s super dense, it’s peppery, it’s bursting with flavors on the palate. It’s immense.
Tannins are much much smoother, much denser. The body coats your palate subtly. This is a big big big expressive wine. Old vines do that,
they pack a lot of tannins, a lot of aromas and a lot of flavors that they’ve
extracted from the ground, and that they put into the wine.
So this is definitely much more of a wine, much much more interesting, super super long.
I can still taste it 30 seconds or one minute after I’ve tasted it.
It’s dry, saline it’s got this minerality that makes you salivate. An extremely extremely drinkable, powerful wine. I guess it’s a little less approachable,
it’s a little less charming because it’s so big and there’s so much
going on. I guess if you’re just looking for a simple fruity enjoyable and peppery wine
$20 is great but for $50 you’re getting much more than two and a
half times a wine. Perhaps 4 or 5 times more concentration in tannins.
2013 Las Comuertas is a 92/100 point-wine. So definitely going into the high-end world-class type of wines, and that’s the 90 years-old vines.
How often do you taste wine made from 90 years-old vines? But let’s move on to the big boy,
the big baby! This is a Cuvelier de Los Andes Grand Malbec vintage 2014. Made by Bordeaux Grand Cru makers: the
Cuvelier family who makes this wine invested in Argentina vineyards, but theiy own Grand Cru classé of Médoc in Bordeaux. One of the top Bordeaux estates including Léoville Poyferré in Saint Julien. Julien, like me. That’s great!
So that’s a good sign I guess! More seriously, this Grand Malbec is
fermented in barrels which is quite rare. Normally wine is fermented in tank and
then matured in barrels. Fermention in barrels allows to
integrate the oak better and smoothen the tannins firsthand. What else? this is a selection of the best Malbecs from the Cuvelier vineyard which is a relatively small 115-acre of vineyard in Mendoza, in Vista Flores. in the body
the echo so everything says that this should be a very good wine it’s a
crafted it’s with consulting one make a mission all our winemaker actually
worked for in with a while ago top high-end most famous flying winemaker
that makes top wines all around the world in Rioja in palma whole his base
in bordeaux as well as in Napa Valley he’s behind Ireland estate and he’s
behind Oliver & Newton estate I think he was involved or he’s involved with
screaming eagle as well so top top consulting winemakers everything is
lined up for this to be a great wine let’s find out so color perhaps even
even darker the previous one was super dark already but maybe it’s a little
denser it does have a few more orange hue
to it us which makes it a bit more profound to look at now is its powerful
and vibrant and much more vibrancy of fruit surprisingly enough as well as the
same depth maybe even more depth to it this has got an ashy character to the
aromatic profile so a lot of vibrant raspberry coulis strawberry jam like
cherry black berry very dense lots of loads of sweet spices to the nose this
dark aura but in this savory ashy character but the fruit surprisingly is
very lively very expensive as well so deep but also very very fruity which is
fantastic destroying Wow so what’s striking here is the
immense density of tenants the movements density of tenants the body and the
silky silky smooth tannins in here it’s certainly another level of density of
another level of fine grain tenants most definitely it’s much more powerful on
the finish as well and it’s got this generous acquire this
strange smoothness silky oily body and texture to it it’s almost like clay on
your palate it’s very very very smooth which is kind of the mark of high-end
high-end wines this is getting towards the 95 out of 100 points wine so
definitely high high up it’s got the big new world expression of fruit together
with the refinement and the savoriness from the oak that you get more out of
Bordeaux in general and sometimes great wines of Napa Valley as well so
definitely a much much more denser refined silky smooth wine and this is
going to be a wine that you can aged for much longer as well I mean it’s 2014
it’s four or five years old already but you can definitely see this aging for
another five ten fifteen perhaps twenty years so this is the one you can
actually buy a case often and seller it for for ten fifteen years and you open
the bottle every two or three years so I want to invest on I want to cherish a
wine for special special occasions so should you spend the extra bucks well
essentially for $20 you getting as much wine for your box in quality/price ratio
$20 wine is definitely one that you can recommend you’re going to get a lot of
wine a lot of enjoyment for $20 but for sure for $50 you getting much more
complexity and a wine that you can be proud of if you bring it at a dinner
party you can really really be proud of this single vineyard if you spend your
20 bucks and you can spend a lot more time analyzing it and the joint the
level of enjoyment is simply more than 12 to and a half times higher if you
know your wine and if you can appreciate and the density of the old vines also if
you’re looking for a wine to try now definitely the 2013 Las competitors is
ready to drink now it’s great to enjoy now it’ll probably get better for the
next two or three years but it’s fantastic to drink now true valle de los
Andes to drink right now it’s delicious but perhaps this is a wine to cellar so
yes if you’re looking at cellaring wine if you’re looking at loving wine and
sharing it with friends and giving your friends your best and they giving them
the impression that you know what you’re doing when you buy wine well $100 and
sometimes perhaps even less for such a big massive refined wine this is
actually extremely good value if you compare this to many $100 wines out of
California this can withstand the comparison and actually advise bring
this to blind tastings of tasting with your friends of $100 wines and see how
it compares I’m sure it’ll do extremely extremely
anyway I hope you enjoyed this video about the mob –ax of Argentina as
always there is a lot more wine tastings coming up so make sure to subscribe so
you don’t miss the next episodes we will keep learning we will keep exploring the
world of wines from the world and hopefully I can put out this video
before Christmas if it’s the case I wish you a Merry Christmas fantastic holidays
enjoy your wives enjoy the family time it’s the most
important thing in life and our see you soon
in the wine world you


Parnell The Chef

Jan 1, 2019, 6:01 pm Reply

Thanks for this video! I have to admit that I don't drink a lot of wine, pretty much just an Argentine Malbec with a good steak since it's such a traditional pairing in Argentine cuisine. It was really interesting to hear exactly what the differences are between wines at different price points. If my budget allows, I may have to do a bit of experimentation in the future now that I am covering Argentine food on my channel. Once again, great video!


May 5, 2019, 4:37 am Reply

Here in Argentina I see this Terrazas wines everywhere, so much so that I was reluctant to try them. Now, knowing that a big company like Chandon is behind this winemaker I understand why. Will definitely try them now. Thanks for your video.

C Mickie

Jul 7, 2019, 5:02 am Reply

Amazing review!

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