As we move away from the heat of the summer to the cool days of autumn, it is a great time to explore easy-drinking red wines. From Argentina, Trapiche PURE Malbec is a safe, crowd-pleasing, food-friendly red wine at an approachable price.
I discovered Trapiche PURE Malbec at Vinexpo, the major wine fair in Bordeaux a few years ago, while I was the VP and head buyer at LCBO. I loved the concept: just Malbec grapes without oak integration. I was sure our customers would appreciate its fresh, alive characteristics. I am happy to say it quickly made its way to the wine shelves in Ontario. The popularity for this delicious, smooth, unoaked, well priced, dry red wine continues.
Malbec is the signature grape varietal of Argentina. There are about 100,000 acres of Malbec grown around the world and 75% of them are in Argentina. The dry, hot conditions of the high altitude area in north-western Argentina offer perfect growing conditions for Malbec. PURE is from the Trapiche Winery, which was founded in 1883. With over 1000 hectares of vineyards in and around the Mendoza area, it is the largest winery in Argentina. Trapiche PURE is produced using 100% Malbec grapes grown in their UCO Valley vineyards. This is a high altitude area close to the Andes Mountains in southern Mendoza.
Although it is very popular today, Argentinian Malbec began to appear in wine shops and wine lists around the world just over a decade ago. The grape had been grown since the mid-1880s and was a well-kept secret for about 100 years because almost all the wine produced was consumed domestically.
The white label cleverly signifies the fact the wine is pure fruit, without any oak influence. This is unusual, as most Malbec wines undergo some oak influence before being bottled. Interestingly, while judging hundreds of wines for the annual Wines of Argentina Competition on an all-female wine panel in Mendoza in 2015, my panel surmised in some cases, too much oak could hide the delicious flavours of Malbec. With Trapiche PURE, it seems our premise was correct!
When tasting Trapiche PURE Malbec, expect a bright ruby colour, subtle aromas of black cherries and plums, smooth juicy flavours with soft tannins and balanced, slightly spicy finish. It is dry and medium to full-bodied.
You can serve this wine with a wide range of foods including BBQ meats (the classic Argentinian combination), roasted vegetables, pasta with red or cream sauce and semi-firm cheeses.
Outside Ontario? Try WineSearcher.
Winery photos courtesy of Trapiche Winery.