No danger of Argentina relying on Malbec too much

08 November, 2013

One of Argentina’s leading winemakers said there is no danger of the country becoming too reliant on Malbec but urged the trade to promote its diversity.

Daniel Pi, chief winemaker at Trapiche, told OLN that Argentinean Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are improving in quality and increasing sales, but that Malbec will always be king.

He said: “Malbec is a pleasant wine, it’s a sexy wine, it’s very easy to understand, it has a nice colour, it’s sweet, round, full-bodied.

“I don’t think anything else from Argentina could ever rival it.”

But he added: “You have different parcels of Malbec from different places and the next step is trying to communicate where the grapes come from.”

Argentinean wine is up 16% in volume and in value in the off-trade (Nielsen, year to August 17) and is worth £77 million.

But Pi believes the biggest barrier to growing the category further is supermarket dominance.

“Something like 80% of the wine sold in the UK goes through the supermarkets so there are five main buyers to deal with and that’s it,” he said.

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