Dona Paula Malbec Seleccion de Bodega 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Along with the 2015 vintage, for comparison's sake, I also tasted the 2014 Selección de Bodega Malbec. The 2014 is the last vintage of this wine to be made with a mix of grapes from three different origins—Ugarteche, San Carlos and Gualtallary—as the following year (2015), they transformed it into a wine sourced exclusively from a single vineyard in Gualtallary. The differences are notable, and despite 2014 being a cooler vintage, the wine feels warmer and riper than the 2015 and also juicier, rounder and with more fruit. At the same time, I also feel the oak more marked here and some rusticity in the tannins.
Established in 1997 in Mendoza, Argentina, Doña Paula is an Estate winery that produces premium wines from the best regions of Argentina, using 100% Estate grown fruit. Dona Paula's history began in 1990, when a period of exhaustive research on the different Argentinean terroirs and their potential to fully express each varietal began. Dona Paula acquired its first vineyard in 1997 in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, a region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains that is famous for its Malbec. The thorough care for details in the vineyards guarantees a constant quality that shows the clearest expression of each terroir. Vineyards are managed using sustainable agricultural practices, and all wines are vegan friendly and gluten free.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.