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  • Writer's pictureThe Unassuming Wine Bros

Argentine Malbecs

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

The Unassuming Wine Bros

As the masses slowly become vaccinated and things begin (we hope) to return to normal, we yearn for trips to faraway locales with fantastic scenery, rugged terrain, great steaks, and of course, exceptional red wines - in other words..Mendoza, Argentina! Until we can fulfill these dreams and actual travel there, we will have to settle for the next best thing - the 2018 Mendoza Malbecs.

We are The Unassuming Wine Bros (UWB) – Patrick and Vigo - two regular guys who love everything about wine, including writing about it. Our goal is to explore the nuances of wine, share our adventures with you, and have a little fun along the way.

This month we explored three 2018 Mendoza Malbec’s. Typically we encounter some duds that you - the reader - never hear about. This month was different. We were surprised by how much diversity these three wines showed and how outstanding on their own each was. Each one was affordable, and we enjoyed them all. Here are our thoughts:

2018 Catena High Mountain Vines Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina: $17 U.S; 13.5 % Alc. by


Vigo: With the Andes mountain range rising to the west of the City of Mendoza, the high mountain

vineyards of Catena produce a full-bodied Malbec that can be tasted in every sip. The aroma of this Malbec is filled with cherries and spice, and its taste is no different. Full-bodied with black cherry, baking

spice, and plum, the fullness of this wine also comes with a long finish which includes a hint of acidity and tannins. The 2018 Catena Malbec is a classic Malbec and excellent value.

Vigo's Rating: 4 Bros

Patrick: I thought the 2018 Catena High Mountain Vines Malbec was a pretty damn good full-bodied wine at this price point! I tasted blackberry, vanilla, dark cherry, cinnamon, and spice which made for fantastic complexity presented like a well-blended red wine. There were plenty of tannins with a long dry finish. I would pair this with filet mignon and enjoy every last bite and sip.

Patrick's Rating: 4 Bros

2018 Kaiken Malbec Ultra Las Rocas, Mendoza, Argentina: $22 U.S; 14.5 % Alc. by Vol.

Vigo: I'll just put it out now; this was my favorite of all three Malbec's we tasted this month. This Malbec is

a bit trickier than the others we will review. Kaiken, though identified as a Mendoza vineyard, has sourced from three separate regions in the Uco Valley, which is approximately 55 miles south of Mendoza. The three types of Malbec grapes come from cool nights, rocky soils, and high altitudes, which have created a wine with an aroma of flowers, cooking spice, and dark berries. The flavor is rich, full of blackberry, black cherry, smoky dark earthiness with a hint of tannins. The finish is smooth and silky. The 2018 Kaiken Malbec Ultra Las Rocas is a phenomenally priced Malbec that is a joy to drink.

Vigo Rating: 4.5 Bros

Patrick: We let each of these bottles breathe for about 45 minutes before we tasted them. As the 2018 Kaiken Ultra Las Rocas Malbec opened up, it blew me away! It was medium to full-bodied and smooth through to the finish with notes of berry, cherry, chocolate, and earth, with tannins. Its mild spice balanced out the fruit perfectly and made for an overall easy-drinking selection. This would pair great with a chocolate dessert.

Patrick's Rating: 4.5 Bros

2018 Trivento Malbec Golden Reserve, Mendoza, Argentina; $18 U.S; 14.5 % Alc. by Vol

Vigo: With a bouquet of rich red berries and plum, the 2018 Trivento Malbec Golden Reserve packs a punch - flavor and alcohol-wise. Big flavors of black cherries, ripe plums, tobacco, baking spice, and a hint of coffee coat your palate, and 14.5% APV comes in on the high side of all three Malbec's we tasted. If you like your Malbec's full-bodied and bold, this is the Malbec for you.

Vigo Rating: 3 Bros

Patrick: In a more normal month when not blessed with all great selections, this could have easily have been my favorite bottle. The 2018 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec drank like a classic Malbec - fruit-forward, full-bodied, juicy, and with tannins on the finish. Raspberry was the dominant fruit that I tasted. It showed nice acidity that balanced with the fruit through the finish. This wine was versatile and would pair well with many foods - I would recommend it with berries.

Patrick's Rating: 3.5 Bros

Vigo's Overall Impressions:

Honestly, I've never considered Argentinian Malbec's selection to make when picking out a wine to drink casually or for a meal. As a California Cabernet Sauvignon and Oregon Pinot Noir lover, Argentinian Malbec's were more of a niche wine in line with an Italian Chianti than my solid California and Oregon go-to's. After tasting all three Malbec's, my decision has changed much like my palate. Though the three selections were small sample size, I feel that Argentina wines are an outstanding value and have a high

quality that can stand up to any U.S or European red wine varietals.

Patrick's Overall Impressions:

I loved all of our selections this month and will gladly drink all of them again. I did not know Mendoza Malbecs could be so different than one another, yet each so tasty at the same time. The best part is they were all affordable and are great value wines. The Catena selection was initially neck-and-neck with the Kaiken selection and overall was a solid bottle, but as the Kaiken opened up, it surpassed the Catena. Try them all. I would love to hear your thoughts on which one you liked best.

Attention Fans and Readers:

We have thoroughly enjoyed the overwhelming response to our recently launched social media presence. It gives us other ways to communicate with our readers about our passion for all things wine. Amazingly, we have already interacted with followers in Asia, South America, and Europe about some of the wines we have sampled in the short time period since we launched. Like our Facebook page "The Unassuming Wine Bros," follow us on Instagram @theinassumingwinebros, or email us at Let us know what you think about this article, these bottles, or suggestions for upcoming articles.

Rating System:

Vigo – / Patrick – UWB symbol. Ratings are given on a 1-5 scale, with five being the highest.

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