How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

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How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby AaronW » Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:00 am

Hi-Dee-Ho wine neighbors,
Had some inexpensive (but luscious) 2005 Argentinian Malbec last night called "Dona Paula - Los Cardos". An amazing bargain at $7. I'm curious to hear anyone else's opinion on Malbec, it's typical complexity potential, tasting notes, and if anyone's ever heard of, seen, and/or tasted a 90+ rated varietal Malbec. (As I have not and it would be interesting to explore.)


P.S. The bouquet Malbec's have are absolutely incredible. Maybe it's just a preference thing, but I think they're tremendous.

Above is a thread that I posted awhile ago before you arrived here at the forum and was was thrilled to see your arrival (I just discovered Malbec a few months ago and my only regret is that it took so long). It would be awesome to get from the horse's mouth, (meaning you Mr. Audisio) the Argentinan wine guru that you are, a comprehensive overview of Malbec and the best labels of Malbec in Argentina that you're aware of, etc.
Can't wait, thanks!
Last edited by AaronW on Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Jan Stranecky » Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:55 am

Hello,

I am also big fan of malbec. Although Dona Paula offers good value for price, there are much better malbec wines from Argentina. You should certainly try wines from Achaval Ferrer-Finca Altamira or from Catena Zapata-Catena Alta.

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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:59 am

AaronW. wrote:P.S. The bouquet Malbec's have are absolutely incredible. Maybe it's just a preference thing, but I think they're tremendous.

Would you say the wine had floral as well as fruit notes? I know violets are often talked of.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:52 am

Welcome to the forum Aaron and Jan. When I see the word "Malbec", I kinda get interested and remember the old tastings of Argentina in the past! If one does a search here at the top of the page (type in malbec), quite a few tasting notes will show. I think we will be doing a Malbec tasting (hopefully) this winter on Wine Focus, bribes to our moderator seem to work!!!

My various notes on some of the malbecs I have tasted, incl. Catena and Dona Paula, indicate floral, blackberry, black fruits, leather, tobacco on the nose. The palate is quite variable but includes violets, blueberry,savoury,leather,earthy, black cherry, boysenberry. So lots to work on eh?!!

Just my impressions, hope it helps.

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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby AaronW » Sun Aug 27, 2006 12:45 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
AaronW. wrote:P.S. The bouquet Malbec's have are absolutely incredible. Maybe it's just a preference thing, but I think they're tremendous.

Would you say the wine had floral as well as fruit notes? I know violets are often talked of.


I would say it's a bouquet that include floral aromas of rose and violets with fruit aromas of bing cherries and strawberry jam.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:42 am

Aaron, you obviously have a good nose!! With malbec, I am always trying to figure out all the nuances!! I like the tough stuff, the earth, leather, the deep down guts...roses do not do it for me. LOL!! We should get together and do an Open Mike here on Dona Paula? Are you game for this?
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Dave Erickson » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:32 am

The hegemony of "Malbec" is, I guess, now complete. Even George Vigoroux, Mr. Cahors himself, is now bottling wine under the "malbec" varietal name. "Cot" and "Auxerrois" were grand old names.

For any who are confused by this musing: There's a picture of me next to the definition of "old fart" in the encyclopedia. :mrgreen:
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:42 am

I don't have the descriptive vocabulary or maybe even the fully developed palate, but I've had a couple of Malbecs that I've really enjoyed. DeLorimier in Sonoma County had all that roughness and toughness and leatheriness that I enjoy in a red wine.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Mike B. » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:44 pm

Mmm, this thread brings to mind the bottle of '02 Mills Reef Elspeth Malbec I had last month.

I don't know what it's rated, but it should be up there. Fabulous, powerful nose and flavours of plum, black currant and spice. Strong leathery tannins backing the big fruits. I'm guessing this will be even better in a couple years.

It goes for about $45 where I've been able to find it in Edmonton, but that's Canada for you.

Mills Reef also does Merlot-Malbec blends and though the Elspeth series is the top line juice, the Reserves are excellent as well. Tim Preston and his father are making some choice wines down in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Bill Hooper » Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:43 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:The hegemony of "Malbec" is, I guess, now complete. Even George Vigoroux, Mr. Cahors himself, is now bottling wine under the "malbec" varietal name.



Dave,
Can you use the varietal "Malbec" on the label in Cahors? Maybe it's just done by the importer on the back.


Prost!
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Sue Courtney » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:09 pm

Mike B. wrote:Mmm, this thread brings to mind the bottle of '02 Mills Reef Elspeth Malbec I had last month.

I don't know what it's rated, but it should be up there. Fabulous, powerful nose and flavours of plum, black currant and spice. Strong leathery tannins backing the big fruits. I'm guessing this will be even better in a couple years.

It goes for about $45 where I've been able to find it in Edmonton, but that's Canada for you.

Mills Reef also does Merlot-Malbec blends and though the Elspeth series is the top line juice, the Reserves are excellent as well. Tim Preston and his father are making some choice wines down in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

Hi Mike,
FWIW, I rate the Mills Reef Elspeth Malbec 2002 extremely highly - seduced me so much I had to review it as a Wine of the Week on my website. There are several New Zealand malbecs that tickle my fancy - Mills Reefs the most usccessful at a lower price point with their 'reserve' range (approx NZ$20). However if you ever come across Fromm Marlbrough Malbec, Luna Negra Waiheke Island Malbec (made by Stephen White of Stoneyridge fame) or Esk Valley Reserve Hawkes Bay Malbec (only produced as 100% malbec in 1999), they are all gorgeous wines.
Cheers,
Sue
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Sue Courtney » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:48 pm

AaronW. wrote:Hi-Dee-Ho wine neighbors,
Had some inexpensive (but luscious) 2005 Argentinian Malbec last night called "Dona Paula - Los Cardos". An amazing bargain at $7. I'm curious to hear anyone else's opinion on Malbec, it's typical complexity potential, tasting notes, and if anyone's ever heard of, seen, and/or tasted a 90+ rated varietal Malbec. (As I have not and it would be interesting to explore.)

P.S. The bouquet Malbec's have are absolutely incredible. Maybe it's just a preference thing, but I think they're tremendous.


Hi Aaron,
Apart from the NZ ones mentioned in my reply to Mike, I've tasted a 90+ Malbec from South America, but not from Argentina, as one would expect, but from Chile. It was made by Viu Manet and the wine was called Viu I. It reminded me somewhat of a high class Aussie shiraz but with Malbec's intrinsic earthiness and floral characters. There is 10% cabernet sauvignon in the blend - and just as an additional bit of trivia, it was made a New Zealander. Don't expect to pay $7, though. In NZ it sells for about $97.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Dave Erickson » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:47 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:
Dave Erickson wrote:The hegemony of "Malbec" is, I guess, now complete. Even George Vigoroux, Mr. Cahors himself, is now bottling wine under the "malbec" varietal name.



Dave,
Can you use the varietal "Malbec" on the label in Cahors? Maybe it's just done by the importer on the back.


Prost!
Bill

No, Vigoroux is doing this all on his own, starting with a rose. Serious revolution is made a little step at a time.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby AaronW » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:45 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Aaron, you obviously have a good nose!! With malbec, I am always trying to figure out all the nuances!! I like the tough stuff, the earth, leather, the deep down guts...roses do not do it for me. LOL!! We should get together and do an Open Mike here on Dona Paula? Are you game for this?



An "...open mike on Dona Paula"? What do you mean exactly?
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Dave Erickson » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:23 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:
Dave Erickson wrote:The hegemony of "Malbec" is, I guess, now complete. Even George Vigoroux, Mr. Cahors himself, is now bottling wine under the "malbec" varietal name.



Dave,
Can you use the varietal "Malbec" on the label in Cahors? Maybe it's just done by the importer on the back.


Prost!
Bill


No, I've seen the bottles (and tasted the wines, of course) and they say "malbec" big as life. One of them is a rose (how scandalous is that?) I had them in France--they're not imported into the U.S. as far as I know. To the best of my knowledge, Vigoroux imports a few wines into the New York City market, but that's it.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Carlo » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:20 pm

I love that grape and it makes a killer wine !!!
Arrowood Winery makes a great Malbec.
Check it out.

http://www.arrowoodvineyards.com/wines/wma01_o.html
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:09 pm

AaronW. wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Aaron, you obviously have a good nose!! With malbec, I am always trying to figure out all the nuances!! I like the tough stuff, the earth, leather, the deep down guts...roses do not do it for me. LOL!! We should get together and do an Open Mike here on Dona Paula? Are you game for this?



An "...open mike on Dona Paula"? What do you mean exactly?


Open Mike? Here on this forum, this weekend a few of us are tasting a bottle of 7 Deadly Zins. Last week if you look on Page 2 we did bubbles for a picnic!!
The way it works is simple..you post a wine you would like to taste and see if anyone is interested in trying the same wine. For instance, Rachael posts and asks if anyone is keen to try the `04 Chateau X Merlot? You say yup have a bottle here and away you go!!

I see you mentioned the Dona Paula Malbec? We could do an Open Mike on that wine next week if you like. I am game and I am sure others will join in.

Hows zat?!!
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby AaronW » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:58 pm

AaronW. wrote:Hi-Dee-Ho wine neighbors,
Had some inexpensive (but luscious) 2005 Argentinian Malbec last night called "Dona Paula - Los Cardos". An amazing bargain at $7. I'm curious to hear anyone else's opinion on Malbec, it's typical complexity potential, tasting notes, and if anyone's ever heard of, seen, and/or tasted a 90+ rated varietal Malbec. (As I have not and it would be interesting to explore.)


P.S. The bouquet Malbec's have are absolutely incredible. Maybe it's just a preference thing, but I think they're tremendous.

Above is a thread that I posted awhile ago before you arrived here at the forum and was was thrilled to see your arrival (I just discovered Malbec a few months ago and my only regret is that it took so long). It would be awesome to get from the horse's mouth, (meaning you Mr. Audisio) the Argentinan wine guru that you are, a comprehensive overview of Malbec and the best labels of Malbec in Argentina that you're aware of, etc.
Can't wait, thanks!


Please oblige us Mr. Audisio, thanks!
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby Alejandro Audisio » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:01 pm

Aaron, thanks for inviting me over to this thread.

A quick review of the many responses you received to your initial questions tells me there are a good number of serious malbec connoisseurs on these boards. Many of the above names mentioned make some excellent Malbecs.

To your specific question, the " Los Cardos " line of wines is the entry-level wine made by the Estate Doña Paula. Its their QPR line. If you enjoyed those, I would suggest you tried their Estate Line, and then for something a notch above their " Seleccion de Bodega ". One caveat here... Im not sure the export labels are named the exact same way that their domestic wines are... it happens many times that a producer cannot use the exact same name/s because of specific copyright issues in certain markets, etc.

For 90+ rated (and similar quality) Malbecs, some of the producers to look out for are the following:

Catena Zapata
Achaval Ferrer
Melipal
Cobos
Escorihuela Gascon
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:10 pm

Hi Alej...........Malbec fans we are indeed!! I am gonna suggest that we do an Open Mike here in the next couple of weeks. So who is up for it?? I am sure we will get excellent participation, I just need one cohort!!
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby Alejandro Audisio » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:24 pm

Leaving ratings aside, I would also suggest those interested in Malbec to explore the many Malbec based blends, or blends that have relevant quantities of Malbec that are also very intersting. Some producers that make some of these wines are:

Trapiche
Benegas
Norton
Tikal
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby Alejandro Audisio » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:37 pm

I failed to address the complexity issue regarding Malbec. Many of the less expensive Malbecs are long on fruit and initial mouthfill, but are less strong in the midpalate, finish and complexity departments. While this is true for many entry level Malbecs, some of the higher end wines that come from the best (and older) vines in selected regions are capable of producing very complex juices. Examples of such wines are the single vineyards from Achaval Ferrer, the Cobos Malbec, the Afincado made by Terrazas de los Andes, the Angelica Zapata (Catena Alta) made by Catena Zapata, and the Dolium Reserve, just to name a few off the top of my head.

Malbec, and the blending of Malbecs from different sub-regions to make "blend of varietals" is something that various producers are experimenting with (Catena is a notable example). The idea behind this is that by blending different Malbecs from different micro-climates, its possible to produce a "more complete" Malbec experience that allows each component to display its strong suit. One of the most widely used "tricks" is to blend a Malbec from a higher altitude (for example from the Uco Valley) with a Malbec from a "premiere zone" (say Lujan de Cuyo), where the high altitude juice will bring the structure & concentration - and the other will add complexity & elegance.
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby AaronW » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:35 pm

Alejandro Audisio wrote:I failed to address the complexity issue regarding Malbec. Many of the less expensive Malbecs are long on fruit and initial mouthfill, but are less strong in the midpalate, finish and complexity departments. While this is true for many entry level Malbecs, some of the higher end wines that come from the best (and older) vines in selected regions are capable of producing very complex juices. Examples of such wines are the single vineyards from Achaval Ferrer, the Cobos Malbec, the Afincado made by Terrazas de los Andes, the Angelica Zapata (Catena Alta) made by Catena Zapata, and the Dolium Reserve, just to name a few off the top of my head.

Malbec, and the blending of Malbecs from different sub-regions to make "blend of varietals" is something that various producers are experimenting with (Catena is a notable example). The idea behind this is that by blending different Malbecs from different micro-climates, its possible to produce a "more complete" Malbec experience that allows each component to display its strong suit. One of the most widely used "tricks" is to blend a Malbec from a higher altitude (for example from the Uco Valley) with a Malbec from a "premiere zone" (say Lujan de Cuyo), where the high altitude juice will bring the structure & concentration - and the other will add complexity & elegance.


Tremendous post, Al, thanks.
This is a perfect springboard for the upcoming "Malbec Open Mike". Stay tuned!
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Re: How 'bout that "Malbec"!! ATTN: Alejandro Audisio

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:09 am

Upcoming Malbec Open Mike eh!!?? Seems to be a fair amount of Malbec interest this past few weeks. Wonder who started all of this, LOL.
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