Malbec continues to overdeliver on taste and value. Here are three Argentine Malbec picks plus a refreshing white.
Roots in Italy, Vines In Argentina
Rutini Wines was founded in 1885 by Italian-born Felipe Rutini, one of the first to realize the potential of winemaking in Argentina. His motto was “Work and Perseverance.” On the outskirts of Mendoza, the Rutini family built a legacy for hospitality and quality.
Rutini farms more than 900 acres in Gualtallary, Altamira and La Consulta, Rivadeavia and Maipu. In some sites, the Malbec clones date back more than 100 years. All grapes are 100% hand harvested and the winery team is constantly experimenting with new techniques, such as conical fermentation tanks.
Winemaker Mariano Di Paola was recently named one of Decanter’s top 30 winemakers in the world. We recently had the opportunity to taste a quartet of Rutini wines.
Argentina Has Whites Too
With all the focus on Malbec and red wine in Argentina, it might be easy to overlook white wine. That would be a mistake. Torrontés is a white grape that can produce beautifully aromatic wines.
The Trumpeter brand is a best selling label for Rutini, experiencing great success in the US and internationally. The wines are accessible and are economically priced. the 2015 Rutini Trumpeter Torrontés retails for $10.99.
It offers floral aromas and notes of peach. It’s refreshing with a medium acidity.
A Trio of Malbec
The Trumpeter range also includes the 2014 Rutini Trumpeter Malbec, with grapes from Tunpungato and Mendoza. It’s a good value pick at $11.99. This has all the hallmarks of Malbec, with a deep, dark color, medium body and a load of jammy flavors.
I’m a fan of Malbec and my current advice is now that you know what Malbec is, spend a few extra dollars and step up to a higher qualify. In addition to the entry-level Trumpeter, we tasted two higher-priced Malbec.
The 2012 Rutini Malbec is aged in new oak (80% French, 20% American) for 12 months. As a result, this wine has more tannins than you might be used to in a Malbec. This wine has aged for four years and could age for several more.
This is their premium Malbec and lists for $35. It is a complex wine with berry flavors and tobacco and vanilla as well. It undergoes malolactic fermentation which provides a rich, full body. We suggest decanting this wine.
Our pick of the quartet was the 2013 Encuentro Malbec. Encuentro means encounter or meeting and the wine reflects a meeting between the winemaking styles of Bordeaux and the New World.
Aging is also for a year, but it is with 50% new and second use French oak and 50% America oak. When barrels are reused, it cuts down the oak intensity. This dials back the tannins nicely for a very smooth wine which doesn’t lack in the complexity department. Aromas of violets and red fruit give way to jam and dark chocolate. At $18.99 SRP, the price is also tasty.
Rutini has solid roots in the past as well as an eye on the future of winemaking. Take your pick of these four wines to introduce yourself to the signature grapes of Argentina.
Full disclosure: We received these wines as marketing samples.