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Wine: The autumnal allure of Argentina's star grape, Malbec

Argentina's star grape is perfect for autumn drinking - from traditional oak-aged varieties to more modern delights

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Malbec grapes in Argentina

Malbec grapes in Argentina

Zorzal Terroir Unico Malbec, Gualtallary, Uco Valley

Zorzal Terroir Unico Malbec, Gualtallary, Uco Valley

Callia M Malbec 2019, San Juan

Callia M Malbec 2019, San Juan

Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC 2018, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza

Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC 2018, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza

Finca Flichman 'Dedicado Malbec' 2016, Uco Valley

Finca Flichman 'Dedicado Malbec' 2016, Uco Valley

Catena Appellation Lunlunta Malbec 2017, Mendoza

Catena Appellation Lunlunta Malbec 2017, Mendoza

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Whatever about judging a book by its cover, wine labels can tell you much about the wine inside. Browse a well-stocked shelf of Argentinian Malbec and you will increasingly find a diversity of styles flagged by various clues on those labels.

We're already Malbec fans here in Ireland so you might be familiar with some of Argentina's key wine province names and what they offer. Mendoza produces two-thirds of the country's Malbec in a signature velvety style, with fine examples from the likes of Lunlunta in historic Luyan de Cuyo and high-altitude Tupungato in the Uco Valley. Further north, in the Calchaqui Valleys of the Salta province, the Cafayate region boasts some of the world's highest vineyards resulting in intensely concentrated wines.

These kinds of names are being called out more as place and the difference it can make becomes increasingly important to Argentinian winemakers. Even if the classification information regarding Argentina's four main wine regions, 23 provinces and very many sub-regions and districts mean little to you, most labels emphasise that sense of place in other ways, too.