Argentina is well known for its red wines, especially Malbec, a varietal that offers a vast array of styles. For the same reason they are able to develop so many different types of Malbec, rosé wines are becoming a growing trend in the land of reds.
In line with global consumer trends – the United States, for example, have became the second biggest drinkers of rosé wines over the past decade. Currently it is doing well both in the domestic and international markets. For example, exports to North America are about 36 thousand cases per year.
The sommelier Peter Weltmann, from Bi-Rite Market, based in San Francisco, is excited about the opportunity of Argentine rosé. “The category is steadily growing and I see no reason why Argentina can’t be part of that growth. I have tried some delicious, light rosé wines, which I think will serve to associate them with quality, and as the price is well positioned, I think they will be in high demand, “he said.
Rosé wines have always had their niche in Argentina. These days with new styles, such as “press and bottled” wine, the profile is becoming more attractive to a new generation of drinkers. The same phenomenon attracts others across the world. “Here in the United States – says the sommelier Charlie Arturaola -, rosé wines are flying out of the shops, priced between $12 – $39. It is the folly of both millennials and connoisseurs. ”
Rosé wines apparently tie together two loose ends: new consumers, who do not understand the formal code of wine and its terroir, and the experts, looking for a refreshing drink to relax with. We see it every day. It can be drunk at a celebration, or with some tapas and on hot days, there’s nothing like a tasty refreshing drink.
This is where the rosés make their grand entrance. While sales multiply around the world, they offer a profile of light and fragrant wines that Argentina has to offer; with a base of Malbec, but also blends. Above all, people are looking for light wines, described as baby skin, with coppery tones reminiscent of the skin of an onion, and in the mouth they are ethereal and fresh like flavoured water.
Malbec and then some…
While the phenomenon of rosé has revolutionised North America- even out of season, and has catapulted its sales by 31% annually -, Argentine Rosé provides the perfect key for that market: arriving nice and fresh, having recently been bottled.
The sommelier Jaime Smith, Communication & Education Development for Southern Wine and Spirits, based in Las Vegas, believes the key lies in the famous Malbec: “In Las Vegas you can see a couple of labels of Malbec Rosé in restaurants. American consumers equate Malbec with Argentina, so it seems a good idea to develop it. “
Argentina offers some brands which sell well in the United States. One of the most celebrated wines in the domestic market is Domaine Bousquet, whose rosé blend – of organic Malbec and Cabernet – marked a before and after in the local market and now ranks fifth in the ranking of rosés exported by Argentina. It is a light coloured rosé, very aromatic with elevated freshness. A style which shares the podium with others like Viña Palaciega Rosé, Finca el Origen Rosé, Finca Wolffer Rosé. The best-selling is Southern Vineyard.
They are not the only ones however. In fact, there are about fifty rosé brands currently being exported to the North. Examples of those with more accentuated colours are Las Perdices, Serbal and Alta Vista Classic Rosé, representing the midpoint between the ethereal rosé styles of Provence and the regional ones with a more intense colour.
The new rosés
Driven by exports, the regional market is experimenting with change, including different price ranges for a style of light wine. In that, the Argentine phenomenon is no stranger. There are brands like Luigi Bosca, who launched their Rosé is a Rosé is a Rosé late last year in a high price range. Or, like The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree, from Riccitelli Wines, and Cuvelier de los Andes and Ciclos.
In the local market they are experimenting with pink sparkling wines. Rosell Boher offers Casa Boher a brut rosé with a base of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Navarro Correas proposes a sparkling wine with Malbec and Colonia Las Liebres, a light coloured one with Bonarda.
One area of new research which is seeming to bear fruit however, is in the exploration of a pink bubbly using Criollas grapes. We’ve tried one, which does not have a trademark, but whose colour and organoleptic profile is remarkable, and another two made with Criollas that are hitting the market very soon.
In any case, the world of rosé found in Argentina is one with much to offer. Whether to refresh the palate, or sip something light or simply to accompany some good seafood, rosé wines are a good choice.