The recession has been good to Argentine wine. Starting in 2008, when consumers put the brakes on buying wines over $40 a bottle, many turned in droves to Argentine wines, Malbec especially, to satisfy their cravings. In 2009, Argentine imports were up 34.1% in volume, and the double-digit trend continued throughout 2010, 2011, and by all accounts 2012.

However, there is always another side to the coin. Because a gold-rush mentality became attached to Argentine wine, large companies moved in to plant vineyards as fast as they could. If they could get the new vineyards into production fast enough, there was big money to be made.

The problem? Young vine Malbec that is overcropped in the vineyard doesn’t taste very good.

Before 2008, most Malbec coming into America was between $10-15 on the retail shelf and came from older vines that kept yields down naturally. These are the Malbecs that got the initial public attention: big, robust, black and red fruit dominated wines that had structure that many $20 American wines lacked. But starting in 2009, super-affordable Malbec started creeping into stores … even as cheap as $5.99 a bottle.

Many of these super cheap wines tasted green, stemmy, and out of balance. Harvesting Malbec at high yields from young vineyards leads to these bell pepper aromas.

With the recession in full force, many wine drinkers didn’t worry too much about the quality of these Malbecs. But as we enter 2013 statistics show people are not only spending more per bottle but are more concerned about the quality of the wine (along with the environmental stance of the winery). That brings us to one of our superstar producers, Ernesto Catena, producer of Padrillos.

Ernesto Catena is a fourth generation winemaker, a true visionary, and a bit of a hippie. Wanting to give consumers a good alternative to the green/stemmy “nouveau Malbec” hitting the market, Ernesto established an organic vineyard (soon to be certified Biodynamic) in the high elevation region of the Uco Valley. It is here that both Malbec and Torrontes develop full and rich flavors, solid structure, and fine detail without even a hint of bell pepper. The most affordable wines in the line up are the “Padrillos” wines, which means “Stallion” in the local dialect.

We were visited by Matias Fraga of Ernesto Catena Wines last summer … check out our short videos of Matias talking about these great wines.

These affordable wines are readily available in the state of Minnesota. Here is a list of where to find them (locations are listed alphabetically by city, be sure to call ahead to confirm availability).

Padrillos Malbec

The Beanery Internet Cafe
Aitkin
(218) 927-7811

Cash Wise Liquor - Alexandria
Alexandria
(320) 762-2524

Cash Wise Liquor - Baxter
Baxter
(218) 829-9286

Tutto Bene
Bemidji
(218) 751-1100

Mgm - West Bloomington
Bloomington
(952) 888-9421

Cash Wise Liquor - Brainerd
Brainerd
(218) 828-9003

Seven Sisters Spirits
Detroit Lakes
(218) 847-2337

Mt Royal Bottle Shoppe
Duluth
(218) 728-6168

Cash Wise Liquor - Duluth
Duluth
(218) 722-4507

Midi Restaurant
Duluth
(218) 727-4880

Lake Aire Bottle Shoppe
Duluth
(218) 724-8818

The Hilltop
Edina
(952) 925-5628

Coconut Thai
Edina
(952) 288-2888

Mgm - Forest Lake
Forest Lake
(651) 464-5790

Jerry's Warehouse Liquors
Grand Rapids
(218) 326-1229

On The Rocks Wine & Spirits
Hugo
(651) 787-9480

Zellas
Hutchinson
(320) 587-9463

Liquor Hutch
Hutchinson
(320) 587-2762

Sunfish Cellars
Lilydale
(651) 552-5955

61 Liquors
Maplewood
(651) 484-9447

The Wine Market
Mendota Heights
(651) 452-9463

Milaca Municipal Liquor
Milaca
(320) 983-6255

Cave Vin
Minneapolis
(612) 922-0100

Kafe' 421
Minneapolis
(612) 623-4900

Studio 2
Minneapolis
(612) 315-4243

Monello/constantine
Minneapolis
(612) 387-1613

Whole Foods - Mpls
Minneapolis
(612) 313-7100

Ken And Norm's Liquors
Minneapolis
(612) 822-0030

Jasmine 26
Minneapolis
(612) 870-3800

Kings Wine Bar
Minneapolis
(612) 354-7928

Surdyk's
Minneapolis
(612) 379-3232

Cash Wise Liquor - Moorhead
Moorhead
(218) 236-8081

Cash Wise Liquor - New Ulm
New Ulm
(507) 354-2720

Cash Wise Liquor - Owatonna
Owatonna
(507) 451-8440

Tower Glen Liquor
Roseville
(651) 639-0122

Horizon Warehouse Liquor
Solway
(218) 467-3245

Cork & Cask
St Cloud
(320) 253-6573

Cash Wise Liquor - St Michael
St Michael
(763) 497-0659

Liquor Village
St Paul
(651) 699-7070

Cafe Minnesota
St Paul
(651) 259-3030

The Commodore
St Paul
(651) 330-5999

Rite Liquor Store
St Paul
(651) 414-0346

Scott's Liquor
St Paul
(651) 690-4434

Do Not Use - Owners Internatio
St Paul
(651) 690-5471

Cafe Latte
St Paul
(651) 224-5687

Toasted Wine+spirits+ales
St Paul
(651) 246-8054

The Wine Thief
St Paul
(651) 698-9463

Club Tara Hideaway
Stillwater
(651) 439-9850

Bluefin Bay Resort
Tofte
(218) 663-7860

Liquor Lodge
Turtle River
(218) 586-3472

Mgm - Vadnais Heights
Vadnais Heights
(651) 653-3456

Cash Wise Liquor - Waite Park
Waite Park
(320) 259-1156

Cash Wise Liquor - Willmar
Willmar
(320) 235-8797

Hy-vee - Winona
Winona
(507) 452-5411

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Padrillos Torrontes

 

 

 

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