• History: Twenty-five years ago, Argentine wines were made the old-fashioned way, with too much oak and too much time in the aging cellars. The results were not for the American or even international palate.
All that's changed, and now Argentina is trying to outperform its neighbor, Chile, in the global marketplace. It has monster production, plus a niche for malbec, a red-wine grape that thrives south of the equator better than in Bordeaux.
Two winemaker friends, Mariano di Paola and Pepe Galante, recently teamed to produce Argentina's Mapema wines, using the first two letters of their first names.They make malbec, sauvignon blanc, tempranillo and a red-wine blend. The 2002 Mapema "Primera Zona'' - **** - is a red Bordeaux mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec, made in a restrained Bordeaux style, with good red and black fruit, a hint of leather and tobacco. At 5 years of age, this wine is at its peak and drinking very nicely, indeed.
• Pairings: The winery suggests veal chops, duck with fruit sauce, beef, lamb, chicken and game birds.
• Retail: $28.
• From: Horizon Wines; 713-413-9463. Link to Article