Argentina is one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world, and the local culture is full of unique food, music, dancing, and beverages.
While many people know that Argentina is home to the Tango and popular tea drink Yerba Mate, most outside of the wine world are unaware of the top-tier wines that the country has to offer.
The Mendoza region is the most famous and highly regarded wine-making area in the country, though there are great wines to be found in other regions as well.
The Malbec grape also dominates the wine world and is the primary grape in the most sought-after and most expensive bottles.
Aside from Malbec, there are plenty of other fantastic wine grapes grown here, and there are over 50 grape varietals that make up the wines of Argentina.
The Top Wines of Argentinia
Below we will break down the top wine types and regions you will find in Argentinia.
Mendoza is the largest and most famous wine-producing region in the country of Argentina and is the first region that most wine enthusiasts think of when talking about Argentinian wine.
The area produces many different wine grapes, though Malbec dominates the region.
This is by far the largest wine-producing region in the country, and an estimated 75 percent of all wine produced in the country is grown and produced in Mendoza.
The region is located at the base of the Andes mountains, which provide a rain shadow effect for the vineyards.
In addition to wine grapes, the area also produces a wide variety of other fruits such as olives, apples, pears, and peaches.
The city of Mendoza is home to some of the finest restaurants in the country, and the wine culture there is phenomenal.
Some of the most historic and highly regarded wine producers in the country of Argentina are located in the Maipu region, and aged bottles of Maipu Malbec can draw a hefty price tag. The area prides itself on old vines as well as time-tested wine-making techniques.
The Malbec produced in the Maipu region is known to carry a level of elegance that is difficult to replicate anywhere else in the world. The flavor profiles range from black fruit to earthy tobacco, as well as “woody” notes of cherry or cedar.
One of the most well-known and highly regarded bottles of wine from this region is Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec.
This rich and full-bodied Malbec usually costs over $100 in store, and can easily run for over $200 per bottle at fine dining establishments.
Luján de Cuyo
The Malbec that is produced in this region is noticeably fuller in the body than those produced in Maipu, and many wine enthusiasts describe it as “lush” with full flavors of black fruit like plums and black cherries.
One of the most famous representations of the Malbec grape from this region is Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec.
This wine consistently scores around 90 points by many different wine critics and is widely distributed at an affordable price of around $20 a bottle.
The Uco Valley is home to vineyards with some of the highest elevations in the entire region.
This elevation allows the wine grapes to develop additional layers of flavor while maintaining a strong acidity profile that works to balance out the earthy tannins.
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino is one of the most recognizable and highly rated bottles of Malbec from anywhere in Mendoza and is the first wine many people think of when the Uco Valley is mentioned.
This bold and full-bodied red wine is one of the best Argentinian wines when it comes to steak dinner pairings, and a bottle usually costs around $120 at the store.
The rich tannins and distinct aftertaste make this one of the hardest Argentinian wines to forget.
San Rafel is located in the central area of the Mendoza region and is home to some of the best wine values in the entire area.
While Malbec is still the most popular grape here, the region is also well known for producing affordable and tasty Bordeaux-style blends.
One of the quintessential wines from the San Rafael region is Bodegas Bianchi ‘Enzo Bianchi’ Gran Corte, which is a Bordeaux-style blend that encompasses the tastes and wine-making style of the region.
Other Argentinian Wine Regions
While the Mendoza region is the most famous wine region in Argentina and accounts for about 75 percent of all Argentinian wine, there are a handful of other regions that also produce fantastic wines across the country.
The region of San Juan is the second largest wine-producing region in the country and is responsible for about 17 percent of all wine produced in Argentina.
Along with Malbec, the Syrah grown and produced here has received high acclaim from critics all over the world.
Finca Las Moras Malbec is one of the most popular and widely distributed bottles of wine from the San Juan region, and its reliability and affordable price have made it a favorite of many.
A bottle usually costs under $15, and it delivers exceptional quality at that price point.
The region of La Rioja is located north of San Juan, and it is most famous for its production of white wines.
The Torrontes grape dominates here, and the area is home to some of the oldest and most historic wineries in the country.
La Riojana Santa Florentina makes a fantastic blend of Chardonnay and Torrentes that showcases the versatility of this wine-making region.
The Torrontes grape provides acidity, while the Chardonnay works to add a rounder body and more depth to the blend.
Patagonia is the southernmost wine region in the country of Argentina, and the region has put itself on the map for many wine enthusiasts over the past few decades with its fantastic representations of Pinot Noir.
Bodega Chacra ‘Sin Azufre’ Pinot Noir is one of the best representations of Patagonian Pinot Noir, and the 2019 vintage received a 96-point score from acclaimed wine critic James Suckling.
This bottle of wine showcases the tea-like flavor profiles associated with Pinot Noir from the region.
Catamarca / Tucumán / Salta
The wine regions of Catamarca, Tucumán, and Salta are the three northernmost wine regions in the country of Argentina and produce a wide array of different wine grapes.
The northern location along with higher elevation gives wines from these regions stronger acidity than others.
Alto 3 Reserve Malbec is a very solid Malbec from the Catamarca region that offers quality flavor and a long length of finish for under $20 a bottle.
The region of Catamarca is often regarded for its high-quality and affordable wines, and this bottle lives up to that reputation.
Tucumen Malbec is one of the most simply named wines that you will find anywhere in the world – it is Malbec from the Tucumen region.
This bottle of Malbec offers huge flavors of black fruit like plum and blackberries, all with a price tag under $20.
Bodega Colome Estate Malbec consistently scores 90 points and over from critics and wine enthusiasts alike, and is a great representation of how the Malbec grape changes as it is grown further north.
The acidity levels in the wine work harmoniously with the rich tannins and full body.
Malbec is hands down the most important wine grape in the country of Argentina, and it is the primary grape contained in the most famous and highly regarded bottles in the nation.
Though the grape originated in France, it has flourished and found a new home in Argentina.
The Malbec grape is known for its thick skin that produces wines with an incredibly full body, and its sugar content generally produces wines with a medium alcohol level.
The refined tannins give way to flavors of blackberries and tobacco as well as dessert flavors and baking spices.
The country of Argentina is by far the largest producer of the Malbec grape in the world and accounts for over 75 percent of all Malbec production worldwide.
Argentinian Malbec is exported all over the world and is a staple on wine lists across Europe and North America.
Other Argentinian Wine Grapes
While Malbec is by far the most popular wine grape in Argentina, there are numerous other grapes and wine styles produced in the country.
Popular French wine grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are fairly common, as well as white wine grapes like Torrontes.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular wine grape in the entire world, and Argentina is one of many countries successfully growing the French grape today.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Argentina is often used in Bordeaux-style blends and mixed with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
While Syrah originated in France, it is now grown worldwide and has thrived in southern hemisphere countries like Australia and Argentina.
Most typically grown in the Mendoza region, Argentinian Syrah offers deep flavors of smoke and pepper with a very full body and strong tannins.
While sometimes produced in nearby countries like Chile and Peru, the native Argentinian wine grape Torrontes offers a crisp and acidic flavor and body profile, while offering lush flavors of fruit like peach and nectarine on the nose.
Wines of ArgentinaConclusion
Argentina is known worldwide for its large volume and high quality of Malbec produced, and it is the number one producer of the grape worldwide.
The Mendoza region dominates the wine landscape in the country, and some of the most expensive and famous bottles are made there.
While the Mendoza region and Malbec grape receive most of the attention and praise, there are many other wine regions and grape varietals planted across the country of Argentina.