Mixing two varieties together is often a great idea to help balance out tannins or flavor, and acquire a result desired by the winemaker. Luckily, Argentina has two staple varietals that are not only great on their own, but go smoothly together to make a perfect mix.
The Bonarda is somewhat of a hidden jem in Argentina. It is actually the second most produced varietal after the Malbec and can often be known in other regions of the world as ‘Charbono’. The Bonarda adds an aromatic touch and lifts the weightier Malbec. The Malbec is the most famous, classic argentine wine and grown at a lower altitude.
A great Malbec-Bonarda blend, like many argentine wines and most wines produced nowadays, is made to be drunk young – not aging more than a few years.
Being an Argentine produced wine, it’s no surprise to know that most exported Bonarda-Malbec blends are generally from the Mendoza region. Argentina is very fortunate as it’s terroir conditions really allow for the production of great wines.
The color of a Malbec-Bonarda blend could be noted as being a rich, deep ruby red and purple, A great Malbec-Bonarda blend is the Mairena Reserva Malbec Bonarda Blend from the Familia Blanco. This varietal es 70% Malbec and 30% Bonarda with twelve months in French Oak and 13.6% alcohol content. With this wine you may be able to pick up on aromas of red fruit, cherries and plums (from the Malbec) and notes of Blackberries and raspberries from the Bonarda. The two combined give us a full bodied complex, pleasant and well balanced wine with a touch of sweetness and mild tannins.
A great pairing for this wine would be a nice steak (try it Argentine style!), roasted lamb and stews.