Trivento Amado Sur Malbec-Bonarda-Syrah 2014

Dark red-violet color with hint of translucence; red berries, forest floor on restrained nose; sour cherry, black cherry, blackberry, cola, lick of licorice, some dark plum on the palate.

Blend of 79% malbec, 11% bonarda, 10% syrah. Medium-full body, dry, good acidity, significant grippy tannins, especially on the finish. Expected malbec softness with some unexpected rusticity; suggests some time in oak, but only a five-month flirtation, not a full commitment. Decanting clearly improves this—first glass tasted was pop-and-pour, subsequent glasses were decanted. Decanted effort significantly smoother, less rustic, grippy tannins were toned down to complement structure rather than interfering with overall impression, fruit expression improved.

Trivento—Spanish for “Three Winds”—is an effort in Argentina by Chile’s leading winemaker, Concha y Toro. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Concha y Toro acquired more than 3,100 acres in Mendoza; the Trivento name reflects the three winds that sweep through Mendoza and are a significant element in the region’s climate and environment. A state-of-the-art winery was built and winemaking was entrusted to Argentinian winemaker Federico Galdeano, a native of Mendoza, a graduate of Chile’s respected Catholic University in Santiago, and bringer of experience earned by working in high-profile wineries in Tuscany and Napa Valley.

Trivento makes a range of higher-end wine. Amado Sur is the brand’s quality-for-price play made with grapes from lower elevations that develop a unique complexity described as “love of the South”—which is the English translation of “amado sur.”

Trivento Amado Sur Malbec-Bonarda-Syrah 2014 delivers solid value and levels of sophisticated tastes, especially after decanting. The blend of malbec, bonarda (Argentina’s #2 red grape), and Rhône varietal syrah is an intriguing and satisfying panoply of juice. Given its Concha y Toro base, it should be widely available. $13-15

Trivento Amado Sur website

Other photos: Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos, Trivento vineyards