Interesting wines from Argentina: Malbec

argentinamalbec

This is the third post from a tasting of interesting Argentine wines in Mendoza last month. It’s Argentina’s most famous variety, Malbec. ‘Everyone is talking more and more about regions,’ says Sebastian Zuccardi. ‘They’re talking about altitude, but also soils. Even within the same vineyard we have diversity in soils.’ There were a mix of wines here, some of which I loved a great deal.

Bianchi Particular Malbec 2014 San Rafael,
15.3% alcohol. 80% French, 20% American oak. Ripe, rich, salty and intense with liqueur-like black cherry and blackberry fruit. Quite ripe and alcoholic with sweet, lush fruit and some stony, savoury, cedary complexity. A big wine. 89/100

Riccitelli República del Malbec 2014 Las Compuertas, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza
Planted in 1908. 14.5% alcohol. Half aged in barrel, half in oak vats (1000 litres). Lovely fresh, vivid, intense black cherry and blackberry fruit. Lovely balance with ripe fruit but also freshness, and lovely floral notes. Nicely structured, with the elegant, mineral, taut fruit the driving force behind this wine. Just beautiful. 95/100

Solocontigo Affaire Reserve Malbec 2014 Valle de Uco, Mendoza
14 months new and second use French oak, 14% alcohol. Los Chacayes (Altamira) and La Consulta. Lovely pretty, rounded fresh fruit here. Black cherries and blackberries with a nice juicy freshness. Fresh, salty and mineral with lovely fine-grained structure. Impressive stuff. 93/100

Michelini Bros Calcáreo de Granito Malbec 2013 Tupungato, Valle de Uco
From Gualtallary at 1400 m. 14% alcohol. Wild yeast ferments in concrete amphoras. Then 14 months in used French oak. Very fresh and stony with a vivid cherry and plum fruit personality. Lovely intensity here with amazing freshness and focus. Very fruit driven and stony with nice acidity. Lovely stuff, so distinctive. 94/100

Zuccardi Aluvional Paraje Altamira 2014 Valle de Uco, Mendoza
14% alcohol. 1100 metres. Fermented in concrete vats with wild yeasts, then aged in barrels and concrete vats. Lovely fruit intensity here: rounded and generous but some freshness and good acidity with nice bright texture from the soils, with high calcium carbonate content. There’s some ripeness here, but also lovely freshness. And there’s a floral, perfumed quality to the fruit. 93/100

Per Se Iubileus 2013 Gualtallary, Valle de Uco, Mendoza
14.5% alcohol. 1300 m altitude. Alluvial stones coated with calcium carbonate. Sensationally good, with lovely complex herb and spice notes on the nose. Some olive and roast meat, with focused black fruits. The palate has amazing savoury complexity with a lovely peppery grip to the black cherry and blackberry fruit. Complex with a dry, savoury, grippy edge. So beautiful and expressive with real tension here (there’s a small amount of Cabernet Franc here). Just 800 bottles made. 96/100

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