We have always been enthused about the Southern Hemisphere here at CHW and over the last year, even more so. In fact, I just tasted the latest 2011 Mendoza Malbecs from one of our partner wineries and the quality is certainly the best we have ever seen. These guys continue to hit the mark and just elevate their game every year.
Today’s releases, one each from Chile and Argentina, continue the tradition of emerging excellence from these regions.
Lot 307 2010 Casablanca Pinot Noir continues the quality tradition of Lot 227 Casablanca Pinot Noir and takes the game up a notch. The bolder style is made possible by better fruit selection and a tighter whole-cluster fermentation protocol. In effect, this cracks open the wine, making it delicious to drink now. As well, this year we decided to close the wine with cork to avoid any the reductive environment that I think contributed to the stemmy aromas that dominated last year's release for a couple months. The result is a deeply colored Pinot with beautiful and spicy aromas of cardamom, rose petal, and blackberry. The oak is well integrated with the fruit (there is minimal new oak used here) and a real sense of purity is achieved along with a minerality that carries that fruit beautifully – think blackberry again with wild strawberry coming through as well. This is a terrific Pinot where the fruit does the talking and is just as good as any $30-40 California Pinot.
Lot 262 2010 Mendoza Malbec is a combination of component wines that winemaker Sam and I put together from two Malbec programs, recently scoring 90 and 92 points by Robert Parker. Given that we had first look at the blending components, I like to think we would fall right into that range as well if not outperform. But we’ll let you be the judge. In comparison to Lot 275 Malbec, I think this wine is, again, a more “cracked open” style with riper fruit characteristics and a more open tannin structure with corresponding approachability. The aromatics are strikingly pure, with fresh aromas of raspberry, blackberry jam, framed by more earthy aromas of black pepper and espresso. The palate has a Northern Rhone impact, with rich fruit and meaty Syrah notes, layered with raspberries and blackberry jam. Powerfully dense with beautiful balance, this wine offers magnificent complexity and opulence. Dynamite Malbec!
These two wines are simply delicious and I hope you enjoy. As always, please don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-805-1971 or email us with your questions about this or any other wine. We're happy to hear from you!