Every now and then we come across a wine – a singular block, or perhaps a distinct barrel – that is so extraordinary, it demands to be set apart from our master blend of Proprietary Red. The wildness, purity and raw intensity of this Malbec called to stand alone in a solo bottling.
Estate grown at the pinnacle of the vineyard, 2,200 feet above Napa Valley and higher than the fog line, this peak is exposed to piercing, unfiltered sunlight. This ‘luminosity’ is critical to developing anthocyanins, the pigment responsible for the wine’s deep, opaque purple color. Cold winds from the San Francisco Bay whip across these two blocks planted with the only known cuttings from Dominus vineyard. Here, the “rock outcrop” volcanic soils are so nutrient poor that the fifteen-year-old vines are stunted and thin-trunked, remincient of bonsai trees.
This Malbec has deep, inky black and garnet color. Aromas of sweet plum, blackberry and black cherry with distinct notes of chocolate carry over onto a juicy palate, where the ripe, full body is supported by firm, balanced tannins. This wine should age beautifully for another 20 to 30 years.
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Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 21, 2017
"The 2013 Malbec is magnificent, as it always has been. Rich, concentrated and unctuous, the 2013 Malbec possesses dazzling intensity of fruit, with high-toned aromatics and brilliant red-toned fruit. Plum, pomegranate and exotic floral notes blossom as this powerful, dazzling wine shows everything its got. Once again, the 2013 Malbec is utterly captivating."
- September 22, 2015
- September 1, 2017
An unusually succulent grape with black skins and bright green pulp, we saignée, or bleed off, 20% of the juice. A significant sacrifice, but necessary to achieve the desired concentration of color and flavor.
To ensure both power and finesse, we whole-berry fermented the wine in new French-oak puncheons (500L) from Taransaud, Sylvain, Seguin Moreau, and Cadus. We gently rotated these oversized barrels for optimal extraction. After press, we returned the wine to the puncheons for another 22 months of aging. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.