A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine Malbec

argentina malbec natural wine

A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine Malbec

I’ve been following this wine over the course of a couple of days. It’s an Argentine Malbec, but not as you know it.

It is made by Vincent Wallard, a former wine bar owner, and Emile Heredia, a natural winegrower from the Vendomois in France. According to the blog of Les Caves de Pyrene, the UK importers, Vincent travelled through South America to spread the gospel of natural wine – about a different way to make wine. His view was, ‘Everything  is  controlled  in  Latin  America  which largely takes its  inspiration  from  the  American  approach –  where  the  notion  of  terroir  is   just a  marketing  tool  and  not  a reality.’

This wine is made from organically grown Malbec grapes in Mendoza, and it is made with a sort of lasagne approach of one-third destemmed grapes,  one-third whole bunch and then one-third destemmed grapes in a 120 hectolitre  cement vat. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration, and just a very small amount of sulfur dioxide was used.

On opening, I found this a difficult wine to get my head around. But on day 2, it all makes sense. It’s really beautiful and edgy, in a good way.

Familia Cecchin Quatro Manos Malbec 2011 Mendoza, Argentina
14% alcohol. Initially on opening this is lively, aromatic and even slightly volatile, but that drifts off after a while to reveal a nose of spicy, peppery red and black fruits, with a hint of tar and some haunting violet floral perfume. Lively, fresh, almost tangy palate with lovely definition and a bit of grip, as well as a pronounced spicy, black pepper edge. It’s unlike any Argentine Malbec I’ve had, trading sweet, easy, international ripe fruit flavours for edges and brightness. I love the peppery black cherry fruit that is the key signature. There are also some nutty, earthy background notes, particularly apparent on the second day. A brilliant wine. 93/100 (UK importer Les Caves de Pyrene, retail price c £14, available from Smiling Grape and Joseph Barnes)

Find this wines with wine-searcher.com

2 Comments on A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine MalbecTagged , ,
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

2 thoughts on “A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine Malbec

  1. Hi Jamie,

    would the wine have gained such a high mark on the first day of opening? Interesting to track the wine’s development over couple of days, but in many review / judging situations such a luxury ( / advantage? ) would not be permitted and true potential perhaps glossed over?


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