Last week, I took advantage of a very nice wine shop, Pain et Vin, in the Palermo Viejo Barrio of Buenos Aires to stock up on wine so that I can continue my tasting practice... Here, I make a comparison between a Malbec and a Cabernet Sauvignon from the same vintage & producer...
Both clearly displaying a "modern" in style w/ forward fruit coming to the fore, yet, aromas are elegant, interwoven, & complex. The Malbec is more open vs the Cabernet. This openess also shows on the palate with the Malbec clearly richer and more velvety in texture, readier to drink, but without the opulence of other Malbec. The Cabernet is certainly firmer, denser, and fresher showing a structure for ageing and a potential to develop nicely over the next 5-8 years. Both wines are rather long in finish, with perfume dominating the Malbec while the firm tannins, however velvety, dominate the Cabernet. Both rather delicious wines!
The Malbec is showing telltale signs. With a deep, brillant purple color, a soft acidity and tannins, with a rich, velvety texture. The forward fruity aromas display red & black fruits with lovely lilac, sweet spices and a note of coconut (these last 2 from the oak ageing, consistent with the grape treatment in Mendoza). The alcohol is 14% and well balanced by its acidity & tannins. Ready to drink younger than the Cabernet, the Malbec can also age for perhaps 3-4 years due to its fruit density and richness. All point to a very nice Malbec indeed!
The Cabernet Sauvignon clearly shows its type with firm tannins and crisp acidity with a more austere backbone versus the Malbec. Forward black fruit dominate with aromas of cedar, black pepper and some balsam and dusty notes (most likely these 2 notes are from the oak ageing which is well integrated and show fruit affinity with wood maturation). Not quite ready to drink unless paired with a typical Argentenean "Asado" and structure, high complexity, and good fruit density will reward the patient wine lover. Lovely wine!