Argentina has become synonymous with excellent Malbec, from the affordable to the high-end. But the country’s best producers aren’t just making high-quality Malbec; many of them are also making blends, and Achaval Ferrer Quimera 2012 is a stunning example.
Inspired by the blends of Bordeaux – where Malbec also got its start – Quimera is an expression of Malbec as lead actor, supported by four of the other indigenous Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. But what’s most interesting about this blend isn’t the grapes used to make it, but how its made in the first place. Unlike most blends, which are created by blending the individual wines together after each wine is made and aged separately, Achaval Ferrer combines all the grapes and crushes them at the same time, allowing them to ferment as one wine from the beginning. It’s a borderline insane approach, as the winery gives up all control at that moment, but the results are fantastic.
In the glass the wine pours a deep, dark red, giving off floral aromas along with dark cherries and rich scents of leather and chocolate. When consumed, it is incredibly balanced with both a nice amount of soft tannins – these are not the strong tannins one might be familiar with from consuming Bordeaux – and a beautiful amount of acidity. It’s the perfect wine for food.
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It drinks like a $100 wine, but thanks to the fact that it comes from Argentina, it can be had for only $35 a bottle. A great steal for the wine’s quality. It’s the perfect gift or bottle to bring over to a dinner party.
Achaval Ferrer Quimera 2012 was provided to VinePair as a sample.