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ABSTRACT

Fifty-six Malbec wines from seven Argentine viticulture regions (Valles Calchaquíes, Mendoza del Este, Mendoza del Sur, Patagonia, Alto Río Mendoza, Valle de Uco and San Juan), of the 2004 vintage, were evaluated by sensory descriptive analysis using a panel of 10 not-sighted assessors. “Noncommercial” samples were obtained using standardized conditions, not aging and produced with grapes corresponding to each viticulture region. Malbec wines from same regions exhibited particular characteristics. Valles Calchaquíes wines had strong herbal, spicy, sweet pepper aromas and pungency in contrast to San Juan wines that showed fruity, strawberry, honey and citrus aromas. Mendoza del Este and Valle de Uco wines were associated with cooked fruit, raisin, floral and sweetness attributes as opposed to Mendoza del Sur and Patagonia wines which were characterized by sourness, bitterness, persistency and astringency, and not by aroma attributes. Alto Río Mendoza wines were characterized by pungency, sweet pepper and bitterness.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Sensory profiling of “non-commercial” Malbec wines developed in this research could be used as a tool to differentiate and classify Argentine Controlled Denominations of Origin (DOC). Wines with DOC have important value in the market and they are original country representative in the world. The results of this study suggest that Malbec wines from some of the regions located in latitudes 31–33° (San Juan, Mendoza del Este and Valle de Uco; Argentina) were associated with the most desired sensory characteristics. Out of these latitudes, wine-making process would have more importance on Malbec wine quality.