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Ave Gran Riserva Malbec 2007

Malbec from Argentina
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

An intense ruby-red color with violet shades. The nose presents concentrated aromas of violets, plum and red fruit with hints of vanilla, chocolate and "dulce de leche." The Gran Riserva has great structure and wonderful persistence on the palate. It presents juicy integrated tannins, with balanced acidity. A complex full-bodied wine; perfect to ccompany the heartiest of meat dishes or to enjoy on its own.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Dark, with licorice snap, espresso and black Mission fig notes that pump along, while hints of charred mesquite, roasted vanilla bean and black tea fill in behind them. The long finish has nice underlying minerality. Drink now through 2011. 1,500 cases made.
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Ave
Ave, Argentina
Though the dynamic careers of Mario Pardini and Iacopo di Bugno transitioned many diverse disciplines including music, journalism, cinematography and economics there was always one inexorable constant: passion. Lured to Mendoza in 2004 the two young Tuscans were seduced by the sights, music, dance, food and intense fervor for life that pervades the Argentine culture. They were enraptured by the majestic mountains and the lush oasis of vineyards at the base of the Andes but what captivated them the most was what they affectionately referred to as Mendoza’s "eldest son": the Wine! Desiring to establish an avant-garde winery that celebrated their ancestry while optimizing the potential of Argentine viticulture they sought and acquired 40 hectares of prime vineyard in the prestigious region of Pedriel, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, counting among their neighbors some of the finest and most honored Argentine wineries. To complete the marriage of enological traditions they hired Tuscan winemaker Alberto Antonini to assist them in transforming their philosophies and passion into wines befitting the name "AVE," which translates as hail! and was the revered greeting the Romans offered to Caesar. As Italian wine makers in the new world Mario and Iacopo produce wines with depth and power yet still exhibit the structure and harmony reminiscent of the wines of their heritage. Of their "eldest son" they say "old age does not exist, only maturity."

Argentina

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With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.

Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.

The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

CVF102985_2007 Item# 114958