Grape varieties and wine styles

The large-scale production of everyday red wines is still based on the native Criolla grape. Malbec is king of the European varieties in Argentina, and with good reason. Typically dark, it is full-bodied, heady and long-lived when unblended. Its aroma is full of deep, ripe blackcurrant fruit and spices. It is not uncommon for Malbec to be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, or with other reds such as Barbera. Cabernet Sauvignon, which is usually blended with Malbec and/or Merlot, is the second most successful red grape. There are signs that fine wines may well come from Merlot and Pinot Noir also.

The best-known white varieties are Torrontes and Semillon, while Palomino is used for the production of cheap local whites. A few forward-looking producers are making progress with Chardonnay.

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