Argentina's wines were dominant across all categories at the 2022 Global Malbec Masters contest, hosted by British publication The Drink Business, with more than 70 of the country's labels winning medals. In the end, two wines stood above all others, in the exclusive high-end category, with their selection as the world's best Malbecs for 2022 from a very strong field of exceptional wines. In last week's Thursday Food we featured the first of the two, Pyros Vineyard Limestone Hill Malbec 2018 and today we are introducing Doña Paula Los Indios Parcel 2019, produced by Doña Paula Wines from vineyards located in Mendoza's Uco Valley. The Global Malbec Masters series of tastings competitions is designed to reward the very best Malbecs in the world, ranging from the mountains of Mendoza and Chile's Maipo Valley to the châteaux of Cahors. With an expert judging panel composed exclusively of masters of wine, master sommeliers and senior buyers, the rigorous adjudication process ensures only the very best varietals are selected as respective category winners, garnering medals from bronze through to gold.
For the world's wine consumer, Malbec is synonymous with Argentina; in fact, the country is often referred to using the '3 Ms': Maradona, Messi & Malbec! The success achieved by this red variety in the last 20 years has not only created a direct association with our country in the global imagination, but has even encouraged other countries to turn to Malbec-focused production. Notwithstanding the fact that labels from other countries, two French and one South African, achieved scores greater than 97 on a scale of 100 (achieving master status), most of the reds that obtained the master awards are Argentine. Specifically, of the 10 masters awarded in the 2022 edition of the contest, seven remained in Argentine hands, maintaining the country's dominance with the Malbec grape.
Doña Paula Los Indios Parcel 2019 by Doña Paula Wines is produced from vineyards at Finca Los Indios located in the Altamira area of San Carlos, Valle de Uco (Uco Valley) known for its cooler climate. It is these climatic conditions that result in stunning wines that are intense but elegant, with abundant silk-textured tannins, aromatic overtones, crushed orange-coloured roses and hints of acacia honey. Los Indios Parcel Malbec, selected as the best Malbec, is made in exceptional vintages with limited batches, having an intense purplish-red colour with black reflections. On the nose, it presents aromas of violets, black fruits, great freshness and spicy notes. On the palate, it has great concentration, marked acidity where its silky tannins stand out, is very elegant and has great aging potential.
Doña Paula, a winery that produces premium wines, was established in 1997 in Mendoza and is considered an estate winery since 100 per cent of the grapes used to produce their wines come from their own vineyards. The winery currently has 703 planted hectares located in the best areas of Mendoza where the ideal climate and soil combination for each estate was carefully assessed to ensure the most faithful expression of each terroir. Finca El Alto, located at 1,050 metres above sea level in Ugarteche, Luján de Cuyo, is Doña Paula's main vineyard comprising 435ha planted, 80 of which date from 1969. The Malbec from this region reveals rounded and sweet tannins, aromas of plums and dry herbs. Finca Alluvia, located at 1,350 metres above sea level in Gualtallary, Tupungato, is the highest altitude of the winery in one of the best regions of Argentina for the production of high quality wines. The Malbec of this area is of an intense colour, firm tannins, blackberry aromas and good acidity.
Finca Los Indios en El Cepillo, San Carlos is where the awarded winning varietal is produced from vineyards located at 1,150 metres above the sea level. The Malbec of this area is of an intense colour, firm tannins and floral aromas such as violets.
Finca Los Cerezos is located in Cordón del Plata, Tupungato at the foot of the Andes range at 1,000 meters above sea level. This terroir is ideal for the cultivation of Sauvignon Blanc, which develops a good acidity and freshness, with citric aromas of grapefruit and herbaceous ones such as rue. The winery also produces a range of gluten-free, vegan-friendly wines that include: Malbecs, red blends featuring Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah combined with Malbec, Rosé and a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc.
The fact that Argentina continues to produce the best Malbecs is due to a combination of the country's unique terroir, climatic conditions in growing areas and continued innovation by winemakers. This results in Argentine wines being better than ever while rightfully staking their claim amongst the most important wines in the world. Malbec is a category where Argentina is an undisputed benchmark in styles and quality, governed by the guidelines of the National Institute of Viticulture, which is now experiencing a moment of unprecedented exploration and precision.
Malbecs and Malbec-dominated expressions (blends) frequently produce exceptional 'black wines' and the quality of those judged at the 2022 Global Malbec Masters competition is a clear signal that the Argentine-made variety continues to reign supreme.
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