Graffito Malbec 2011
Malbec from Argentina, South America
Deep and bright color that evokes its name. Ethereal rose petal incense and spicy perfume with a bass note of smoky earth and espresso. Juicy and medium-bodied, it expands and intensifies in the mouth, gaining density and complexity as it is savored. The palate balances red currant fruit and hints of black pepper with loads of mouth-coating ripe tannins that are common in old vine Malbecs. Finishes with smooth, lush tannins, ripe acidity and good length. The ultimate in steak wine. You'd be wise to let this old vine beauty open a bit before delving into it, so get the decanter out for this one.
Wine Spectator - "Notes of baking spices, licorice and smoke lead in this rich red, sporting a solid core of dark cherry and macerated plum."
Over the last 15 years, winemaker Jimena Lopez (former winemaker of Bodega Norton) has developed a very personal set of fine winemaking principles: use great fruit from old vines in a special location, handle all the winemaking steps herself, and put her stamp of approval (a thumbprint) on the label. Jimena's lifelong plan has been to craft a wine using these principles, so when she came across the 7-acre, Cantella vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo farmed entirely by Don Pepe and his family, she finally put her plan into action. This low yield Malbec vineyard planted by his father in 1908 produces small, intense berries that produce a wine not only with deep dark color, like graffito, but also amazing concentration, complexity and structure.
Jimena believes that good winemaking is simple winemaking. It starts in the vineyard with quality grapes. Beyond this, she believes in 3 key principles to make great wine: know-how, obsession for details, and above all passion. View all Graffito Wines
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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