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Devil Proof Vineyards Farrow Ranch Malbec 2015

Malbec from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP95
  • JS94
  • WE94
750ML / 14.6% ABV
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  • WS93
  • RP91
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750ML / 14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Devil Proof Malbec, Farrow Ranch, is a lush, strikingly complex wine that comes from the Alexander Valley hillsides of Farrow Ranch in Northern Sonoma County. This block was planted in 2002 with a mix of Clone 4 and Clone 595 Malbec grafted to 1103P grapevine rootstock. An adjacent large steep hillside creates great air movement through the vines which further enhances the wide diurnal temperature swings so well-known in this region. The result is beautifully ripe and fresh berries with firm acidity and unparalleled elegance for its power.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Malbec Farrow Ranch is a little mute to begin, giving way to a rock-star nose of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and baked cherries with nuances of plum pudding and Christmas cake plus touches of potpourri and espresso. Very big, full-bodied and jam-packed with generous fruit, it has a built-like-a-brick-house structure and finishes with epic length. Forget this for 5-6 years and drink it over the next 20+.
JS 94
James Suckling

Aromas of pumice, blackberries, violets and blueberries follow through to a full body. Yet, it's tight and polished. Bright and refined, too. An extremely long finish.

WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
From the oldest block of a dry-farmed, hillside site, this bold, beautiful red is a celebratory expression of crushed rock, dusty soil and floral teases of rose and lavender. Hearty, thick and rich in its youth, it offers a wealth of blue fruit, leather and brown sugar. The oak is integrated and the tannins are grippy yet beginning to show polish.
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Devil Proof Vineyards

Devil Proof Vineyards

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Alexander Valley

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Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originated 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.

MBWAJD15MAA6_2015 Item# 515126