Argentine Cabernets


Bob Pepi
“The Argentine Cabernets have a unique style”


Bob Pepi, American winemaker and judge in the next Argentina Wine Awards, underlined that Argentina should go beyond Malbec. For this, Cabernet among red wines and Torrontés within whites are its way out.

The Argentina Wine Awards will be held in Mendoza, from February 19 to 24. In this contest, organized by Coviar and Wines of Argentina, the international jury will consist of winemakers and technicians from all over the world. This year, more than 700 samples were submitted. Bob Pepi talked to WineSur about his expectations regarding the wines to be tasted.

- Unites States is a very important market for Argentine wineries, what is your opinion about the growth of Malbec consumption in that market? Will it endure?

I definitely think Malbec consumption will continue to grow because of its quality/value.  Also, I believe it fills the need for a more drinkable Bordeaux variety that California Merlot has failed somewhat to do.

- I know you work with Bianchi and you´ve got several ‘best buys’, what is the formula for getting a good wine at a convenient price, even in time of crisis?

There is no set formula. The idea is to start with good fruit, which there is usually in abundance in Argentina, and to keep the wine fruit forward with little or no wood aging.

- What do you expect to taste in the next Argentina Wine Awards?

I expect to see more wineries producing wines that compete well in the international market, as well as improved quality with Malbecs and Torrontés, and a broader range of Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends.

- What do you think about the future of Torrontés?

I think the future of Torrontés is strong, at least in the US market that I know. US consumers are always looking for fresh, fruity white wines that they can enjoy on their own or with the lighter dishes.  That is why we are seeing an upswing with sales from whites from Alsace, Germany, etc.

- Is it time for Argentina to go beyond Malbec?

Argentina should probably always lead with Malbec, because it grows it so much better than most parts of the world.  That being said, I think Argentina should spend more time promoting varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, as it produces that as well as the best areas in the world and the Argentine Cabernets have a style that is unique, falling somewhere stylistically between a good red Bordeaux and a California Cabernet.