The Right Rose for Argentina
Summer is coming to the northern hemisphere, and consumers' appetite for refreshing light-colored wines is rising along with the temperatures. Argentina has offered its share of whites to the market, including its flagship torrontes, but rose wines have never arrived in numbers. That can change, and Argentina has just the grape to do it.
Rose can be made from just about any red grape by allowing only a touch of grape skin to enter the winemaking process. With the color can come extra shades of flavor, belying rose's traditional reputation as flimsy plonk. Winemaking countries around the world proffer their own roses, though the classics are French - wines from Anjou in the Loire Valley, Tavel in the Rhone Valley, and all across Provence in the south.
In Argentina, malbec has inevitably been the variety used in most rose, and with some success. The wines are typically lush with notes of lighter tree fruit like peaches and nectarines rather than malbec's usual plums. But the competition from France, Italy, and even California is stiffer among rose wines than among reds, at least in terms of prices, and a "rosado" malbec may have trouble squeezing into a buyer's mindset.
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