Malbec is a newcomer to Napa Valley and we have been loving the challenge of taking on something new. By contrast to Petite Sirah, this wine though quite dark in color emerges from initial fermentation soft, supple and juicy. We only gave it 20 months in 50% new oak to allow it to take on a bit of heft and richness and to speak clearly of its varietal character, a generous mix of black fruit, red fruit and chocolate.
Review: “Offers complex aromas of violet, wilted rose, crushed rock and graphite amid the dark berry, raspberry and fresh earth notes. A graceful style despite the density and firmness.” — James Laube, Wine Spectator
When To Drink: We tend to think of Malbec as somewhere between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in terms of boldness, mouthfeel and overall stuffing. For our first outing we wanted to explore its aromas and flavors on the newer, younger side liking the red and black fruit mixture and feeling as though less time in oak than the Petite Sirah was the way to go. Like the Petite Sirah though, we are finding the wine delicious and compelling now but believe that time will do beautiful things to this bottle. Drink now – 15 years.
Elias Fernandez & Doug Shafer