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Amanda Barnes is a British journalist who makes her own bread and butter by drinking wine around the country. Actually, she spends her bread and butter on wine.

The Malbec of Angels


Winemaker's Night Interview: Jose Manual Gonzalez, Malbec de Angeles

This boutique winery in Lujan started making wine in 2007 but prides itself in having some vineyards from as old as 1924. Winemaker Juan Manual Gonzalez came to Winemaker’s Night on Wednesday to share three of their wines.

Q: You have some of the oldest Malbec vineyards in Mendoza, what special characteristics does an older vineyard bring to the wine?

Firstly the stability over time, the behavior of the grape stabilizes over time. The changes of the season don’t affect it as much and this is the most important difference.

Q: What is the most exciting thing about Argentine winemaking for you right now?

That there is still a lot to discover! We are opening a lot of doors and we still have a lot to see, that’s what is exciting.

Q: You specialize in Malbec, but what if you were to add another wine do you think is missing from your wine portfolio?

Well actually I have a secret to share… we have made a Cabernet Sauvignon this year! We have 4 hectares from 1996 and this wine has been a great surprise for us. Now we want to make it a gran cabernet sauvignon – and maybe a blend with malbec…. The doors are all opening!

Q: What is your twitter and do you follow twitter?

Yes, I am @juanmgonzalez_1 

I use twitter a lot - I follow a lot of colleagues, other winemakers here – we are all on twitter! And then also people that love wine … Practically everyone in wine!

Q: Apart from your own wine, what would you offer an actual angel to drink?

That is a very difficult question…. I think I would like to make one specially. Actually, we are working on a secret project for angels….

The Wines

Malbec de Angeles 2008: Slightly sweet and sour nose with lighter floral characteristics and some tart raspberries. A dense and full fruit mouth with sweet tannins and a smooth oak integration.

Malbec de Angeles 2009: We had a sneak preview of this new vintage, which had a slightly special story to tell… The vineyard had a big hail storm just before harvest which naturally made a selection pulling off the weaker grapes and those that survived (and grew in concentration) were harvested for this wine. Although not yet finished this had a lovely cassis nose with rounder tannins which will surely lead to a divine wine in a year or so.

Gran Malbec de Angeles 2008: This was a much more complex wine with more masculine characteristics of leather, tobacco and spice but still had some fruit and floral notes rising above. An inky mouth with a long finish.

Malbec de Angeles is available to buy at The Vines Vinoteca and at 


Amanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza and not just trying the malbec of angels, but also the torrontes of angels, the cabernet franc of angels, the petit verdot of angels…

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