Malbec is known as a blending grape in Bordeaux and it’s origins are undoubtedly Cahors, but Malbec has found a second home in Argentina. In Mendoza, Malbec is thriving and some of the best Malbecs are being made by Germán Di Cesare of Bodega Trivento.
Germán di Cesare
The Malbecs of Argentina are evolving, they no longer are the heavy punchers at the table. With a new generation of winemakers at the helm, Argentina’s wines are being picked earlier, so they are fresher and have less oak. Germán di Cesare’s wines represent this new style. He makes wines with personality that reflect the terroir, soils and history of the region.
I recently had lunch with Germán Di Cesare in New York City, where we tasted an extensive sampling of his Malbec portfolio. Before we started sipping, he gave us an in-depth overview of the region, the terroir, the history, and the wines of Trivento. Germán’s presence is genuine and down to earth, but he is also quite the Renaissance man as he makes terrific wines, loves to horseback, is quite a chef, and can whip up a great Argentinian BBQ. With all that to his credit, he is also a talented singer and musician.
Germán shared stories of his horseback riding escapades through the Andes and into Chile, something he does very often. He finds the scenery and mountains so peaceful and it connects him to his land and nature.
Starting at a very young age, Germán joined Trivento when he was 22 years old. He worked in the winery while going to University. It was difficult to manage both, but his love and passion for making wine was his driving force. For Germán, winemaking is a part of his tradition and family for generations. He shares a romantic love story of how his grandmother and grandfather first met in the vineyards during harvest.
Wearing many hats, Germán joined Trivento in 2002 and worked in the cellars, the barrel room and the laboratory. In 2008 he was assigned the task to make Trivento Reserve and Amado Sur. His Malbecs became award-winning wines and in 2009 was promoted to head winemaker for Trivento’s high-end wines.
The wines of Trivento have Germán’s personality in every bottle. Germán says, “I wants to make honest wines. Wines that have freshness, bright color, clean nose, and are a good representation of the varietal. A wine that is well-balanced with acidity and fruit.”
Trivento means “Three Winds”, referring to the three winds that sweep through Mendoza. These winds add to the microclimates of the region making it an ideal place to produce world-class wines.
Owned by the Concho y Toro group from Chile, Trivento has prime vineyards the Uco Valley, Maipu, Luján de Cuyo, San Martin and Rivadavia districts of Mendoza. Trivento wines are exceptional due to the high-altitudes of the vineyards, which provide a wide diurnal range in temperatures.
Their portfolio of wines represent a comprehensive range, starting with Trivento Reserve, a line of five varietals that expertly illustrate the quality and competitive value that Argentinian wines can offer. Trivento subsequently released its much admired limited edition Trivento Golden Reserve wines. The winery’s latest release, Amado Sur, honors the marriage between the vines and the foothills of the Andes Mountains, where grapes develop complexity and unique expressions that could only be described as – a love of the south – or Amado Sur. At the pinnacle of offerings is Trivento Eolo, a super-premium reserve Malbec.
Before we dig into tasting the four Trivento Malbecs, we start off with a glass of refreshing Torrontés.
Trivento White Orchid Reserve Torrontés 2018 (SRP $11)
A blend of 85% Torrontés and 15% Pinot Grigio, it has aromatic floral aromas. The grapes come from the Uco Valley at a 1000 meters above sea level, which is great for white varietals. The altitude allows for higher intensity and higher acidity in the wines. The Pinot Grigio is added to give the wine structure. It is the perfect wine for the spring or summer with salads and light pastas. The White Orchid is a great value for the price.
Trivento Malbec Reserve 2017 (SRP $11)
This is one of the most popular Malbec’s of the Trivento portfolio. The grapes come from two regions, Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. The soils of the Uco Valley are stoney so its produces grapes with a thicker skin, so you get more color, structure and vibrancy. Luján de Cuyo produces Malbec that has more rounder tannins. Blended together, the final wine is a deep red color with black fruit, nice acidity and smooth tannins. This is more of a juicy Malbec, rather than powerful. It is easy to drink and is a good value for the price.
Trivento Amado Sur Malbec 2016 (SRP $15)
Amado Sur means “Beloved South” and is a blend of 70% Malbec, 20% Bonarda, and 10% Syrah. The wine is modern in style, yet two-dimensional. It is new world in style (color, fruit and acidity) combined with old world oak influence. A wine that is an eloquent blend with Malbec as the star, with Syrah added for power and spice, and Bonarda for a touch of style. The perfect pairing would be red meats, grilled meats and hard cheeses.
Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2016 (SRP $21)
This was Trivento’s first super premium wine. 100% Malbec entirely from Luján de Cuyo. The vines come from prime plots on high elevation along the right and left bank of the Mendoza River. The wine is aromatic with strawberries and raspberries with vibrant tannins and a juicy long finish.
Trivento Eolo Malbec 2015 (SRP $79)
The Eolo Malbec is Trivento’s ultra premium wine. It is produced with grapes from a single vineyard in Luján de Cuyo with vines that were planted in 1912. Only 5000 cases of this wine is produced(small in comparison to their other Malbecs). The name, “Eolo” was chosen in honor of “Aeolus”, the Greek god of the winds, and is a tribute to the three winds that blow across the Mendoza landscape, nurturing the growth of the vines. It’s assertive, engaging, structured and smooth. This deep purple wine has many complex layers. It has notes of cherries, blueberries and cocoa. It has a full body and is well structured. The fruit is lively, the tannins are elegant and the finish is smooth and long. It will pair deliciously with steaks, grilled meats and aged cheeses. A must buy, either to to drink now or put away in your cellar.